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Reading electronic mail at the office: Exploring how and why organizational members read information
Unformatted Document Text:  Reading electronic mail 8 This method is said to require minimal memory work or recall on the part of the respondent (Robinson, 1999). Therefore, to explore the way in which organizational members process the information they receive via electronic mail, participants kept a diary of the messages they received via email. For every received email message, they described the type of information of the message, who the source of the messages was and the way in which they read the message. Participants kept their diary one day a week for a period of five weeks in which the designated day varied per week: the first week on Tuesday, the second week on Wednesday, and so on. As it is said that at least two days provide for greater reliability of the data, the five designated days per participant should provide reliable data (Robinson, 1999). Furthermore, the variation in days should reduce sample loss, because participants with a day off on the designated day were able to keep the diary in the subsequent week (Robinson, 1999). The evening before every research day, the participants received an email message with a reminder. This means that these email messages are included in the study. Furthermore, to motivate the participants to keep the diary for five weeks, an introduction meeting was held at their office about the objective of the study, and about the procedure. During the research days, the participants filled out the diary at the moment they were going to read an email message or at the moment they were going to delete an email message. Additionally, the diary contained a short questionnaire to gather background information about the participants. Participants. Organizational members of three Dutch organizations participated in the diary survey. These three organizations are (1) a department of a ministry, further mentioned in this paper as organization A, (2) an institute for applied scientific research, further mentioned in this paper as organization B, and (3) a pension fund, further mentioned in this

Authors: de Bakker, Suzanne. and Elving, Wim.
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Reading electronic mail 8
This method is said to require minimal memory work or recall on the part of the respondent
(Robinson, 1999).
Therefore, to explore the way in which organizational members process the
information they receive via electronic mail, participants kept a diary of the messages they
received via email. For every received email message, they described the type of information
of the message, who the source of the messages was and the way in which they read the
message. Participants kept their diary one day a week for a period of five weeks in which the
designated day varied per week: the first week on Tuesday, the second week on Wednesday,
and so on. As it is said that at least two days provide for greater reliability of the data, the five
designated days per participant should provide reliable data (Robinson, 1999). Furthermore,
the variation in days should reduce sample loss, because participants with a day off on the
designated day were able to keep the diary in the subsequent week (Robinson, 1999).
The evening before every research day, the participants received an email message
with a reminder. This means that these email messages are included in the study.
Furthermore, to motivate the participants to keep the diary for five weeks, an introduction
meeting was held at their office about the objective of the study, and about the procedure.
During the research days, the participants filled out the diary at the moment they were going
to read an email message or at the moment they were going to delete an email message.
Additionally, the diary contained a short questionnaire to gather background information
about the participants.
Participants. Organizational members of three Dutch organizations participated in the
diary survey. These three organizations are (1) a department of a ministry, further mentioned
in this paper as organization A, (2) an institute for applied scientific research, further
mentioned in this paper as organization B, and (3) a pension fund, further mentioned in this


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