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Reading electronic mail at the office: Exploring how and why organizational members read information
Unformatted Document Text:  Reading electronic mail 7 need for cognition are more motivated to engage in and enjoy effortful information processing than organizational members with a low need for cognition, it is plausible to assume that organizational members with a high need for cognition read their email messages more in their entirety and more thoroughly than organizational members with a low need for cognition. To explore this relationship, we assume that the way in which organizational members read information they receive via electronic mail is associated with their need for cognition. A fourth explanation could be that organizational members for which information plays a large role in performing their jobs read information in a different way than organizational members for which information plays a small role in performing their jobs. For example, for some organizational members is information processing their primary job while for other organizational members, information processing is a supporting tool to enable them to perform their job successfully. Therefore, we assume that the way in which organizational members read information they receive via electronic mail is associated with the role information plays in performing their job. We are aware of the fact that there are more explanations for reading information in a certain way, such as hierarchical position and tenure of organizational members. However, to explore the way in which organizational members process information they receive via electronic mail, this paper will focus on the described explanations. Method Procedure. The difficulty in researching human behavior is the fact that someone’s perception of his/her behavior might differ from his/her actual behavior (Robinson, 1999). Because survey research implies questions on someone’s perceptions, we choose a method which is usually considered as a more objective measure of human behavior: the diary survey.

Authors: de Bakker, Suzanne. and Elving, Wim.
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Reading electronic mail 7
need for cognition are more motivated to engage in and enjoy effortful information processing
than organizational members with a low need for cognition, it is plausible to assume that
organizational members with a high need for cognition read their email messages more in
their entirety and more thoroughly than organizational members with a low need for
cognition. To explore this relationship, we assume that the way in which organizational
members read information they receive via electronic mail is associated with their need for
cognition.
A fourth explanation could be that organizational members for which information
plays a large role in performing their jobs read information in a different way than
organizational members for which information plays a small role in performing their jobs. For
example, for some organizational members is information processing their primary job while
for other organizational members, information processing is a supporting tool to enable them
to perform their job successfully. Therefore, we assume that the way in which organizational
members read information they receive via electronic mail is associated with the role
information plays in performing their job.
We are aware of the fact that there are more explanations for reading information in a
certain way, such as hierarchical position and tenure of organizational members. However, to
explore the way in which organizational members process information they receive via
electronic mail, this paper will focus on the described explanations.
Method
Procedure. The difficulty in researching human behavior is the fact that someone’s
perception of his/her behavior might differ from his/her actual behavior (Robinson, 1999).
Because survey research implies questions on someone’s perceptions, we choose a method
which is usually considered as a more objective measure of human behavior: the diary survey.


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