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Reading electronic mail at the office: Exploring how and why organizational members read information
Unformatted Document Text:  Reading electronic mail 4 will explore the way in which organizational members process information they receive via electronic mail. Processing information Ideally, to be able to function as it should be, organizational members have to manage the information they receive at the office. However, because of the expanding volumes of information organizational members receive, they experience ensuring pressures to read all the information. Therefore, it is imaginable that they do not read all the information they receive. For example, Mackay (1989) distinguished three groups of email users with regard to their feelings of control over their email. Users were rated as ‘ok’ if they felt quite content with their electronic mail, users were rated as ‘on the edge’ if they felt themselves barely able to maintain control over their email, and users were rated ‘overwhelmed’ if they felt out of control. As it appears, these three types of email users manage the email messages in different ways. The ‘ok’ group did not try to read all of their email messages, while the other two groups tried to read all of their email messages. However, they did not always succeed to read them all. From this example, we assume that individuals do not read all the information they receive at their office: either they do not want to read all the information or they are incapable to read all the information. Furthermore, besides not reading all the information they receive at the office, it is imaginable that organizational members do not read all the information very thoroughly. For example, individuals can read information very thoroughly, or, on the other hand, they can read information not very thoroughly; they skim the information. So, it is imaginable that organizational members process the information they receive via electronic mail in different ways. On the one hand, they read all the email messages or they do not read all the email messages they receive, and on the other hand, they read the email messages very thoroughly or they read the email messages not very thoroughly.

Authors: de Bakker, Suzanne. and Elving, Wim.
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background image
Reading electronic mail 4
will explore the way in which organizational members process information they receive via
electronic mail.
Processing information
Ideally, to be able to function as it should be, organizational members have to manage
the information they receive at the office. However, because of the expanding volumes of
information organizational members receive, they experience ensuring pressures to read all
the information. Therefore, it is imaginable that they do not read all the information they
receive. For example, Mackay (1989) distinguished three groups of email users with regard to
their feelings of control over their email. Users were rated as ‘ok’ if they felt quite content
with their electronic mail, users were rated as ‘on the edge’ if they felt themselves barely able
to maintain control over their email, and users were rated ‘overwhelmed’ if they felt out of
control. As it appears, these three types of email users manage the email messages in different
ways. The ‘ok’ group did not try to read all of their email messages, while the other two
groups tried to read all of their email messages. However, they did not always succeed to read
them all. From this example, we assume that individuals do not read all the information they
receive at their office: either they do not want to read all the information or they are incapable
to read all the information. Furthermore, besides not reading all the information they receive
at the office, it is imaginable that organizational members do not read all the information very
thoroughly. For example, individuals can read information very thoroughly, or, on the other
hand, they can read information not very thoroughly; they skim the information.
So, it is imaginable that organizational members process the information they receive
via electronic mail in different ways. On the one hand, they read all the email messages or
they do not read all the email messages they receive, and on the other hand, they read the
email messages very thoroughly or they read the email messages not very thoroughly.


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