E-mail in the workplace : the role of stress appraisals and normative response pressure in the relationship between email stressors and employee strain

Brown, Rowena, Duck, Julie, & Jimmieson, Nerina L. (2014) E-mail in the workplace : the role of stress appraisals and normative response pressure in the relationship between email stressors and employee strain. International Journal of Stress Management, 21(4), pp. 325-347.

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Abstract

In many organizations, e-mail is an effective and dominant workplace application tool; however, research identifying its role as a potential workplace stressor remains limited. Utilizing the Transactional Model of Stress (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), 215 full-time administrative and academic staff at a university were surveyed about workplace e-mail. The aim was to study the effects of potential e-mail stressors on emotional exhaustion as mediated and moderated by person and situation variables. Results indicated that 2 distinct e-mail stressors—high quantity and poor quality (in terms of high emotionality and ambiguity) of workplace e-mail—were associated both with stress appraisals (e-mail overload and e-mail uncertainty) and with emotional exhaustion. Furthermore, the effects of the 2 e-mail stressors on emotional exhaustion were mediated by appraised e-mail overload. Perceived normative response pressure—a relevant aspect of the specific work environment—added to the explanation of emotional exhaustion and accentuated the positive effect of e-mail ambiguity on emotional exhaustion, although effects involving normative response pressure were not explained by the stress appraisals.

Impact and interest:

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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 75132
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: E-mail Communication, E-mail Stressors, Emotional Exhaustion, Normative Response Pressure, Stress Appraisals
DOI: 10.1037/a0037464
ISSN: 1072-5245
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Behaviour (150311)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association
Copyright Statement: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record
Deposited On: 18 Aug 2014 00:55
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2014 05:16

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