Technology Overload Effect by Using Mobile Technologies in Workplace and Its Impacts on Employees' Job Satisfaction


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Pengzhen YIN

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Awarding Institution
Award date16 Aug 2016


Mobile information and communication technologies (MICTs) have been widely adopted by people nowadays. As an emerging IT consumerization phenomenon, MICTs are prevalently used in the workplace to improve work productivity and efficiency. Although MICTs have many advantages, their use has also resulted in negative effects on employees. For example, a few current studies have examined the specific phenomenon of mobile technostress, which has been identified as a typical negative consequence of MICT use in the workplace. However, studies of mobile technostress essentially examine the effects of several critical factors from technostress literature in the context of mobile technology use. The internal mechanisms of mobile technostress are still unclear. Therefore, more attention still should be paid on investigating the negative consequences of MICT use in the workplace.

The application of information technologies has greatly facilitated the transmission of information. The phenomenon of information overload is now attracting increasing attention from both practitioners and academics. Accompanied by the concept of information overload, researchers have also proposed that people may experience high levels of communication overload and interruption overload when using information and communication technologies (ICTs). However, in the current literature, these overload phenomena are studied in a superficial way. Very few empirical studies have been conducted to explore the specific consequences of these technology overload effects. Given the lack of systematic research on the technology overload phenomenon, the mechanisms of how ICTs are related to technology overload are still unclear. Therefore, in this study, we aim to provide a comprehensive empirical research framework with respect to the technology overload effects in the context of MICT use in the workplace.

Specifically, we intend to identify critical technology overload factors in the work place, and investigate their impacts on employees’ job satisfaction. An initial interview process with workers has also been conducted to help us identify the critical technology overload factors and decide the scope of this study. Based on the Coping Model of User Adaptation and technostress literature, a new research framework is developed to investigate the technology overload phenomenon, and individual coping strategies associated with reducing the perceived level of technology overload.

Grounded on the literature and theoretical models, we propose two key technology overload factors: information amount overload and interruption overload. Two specific problem-focused coping strategies (i.e., information processing timeliness and job control assistant support) are discerned based on Coping Theory. We examine the impacts of technology overload factors and coping strategies on employees’ job satisfaction based on the theoretical lens of Coping Model of User Adaptation. Further, the moderation effects of coping strategies on the relationships between technology overload factors and job satisfaction are also studied. Corresponding hypotheses are also developed.

A survey research methodology was adopted to validate the proposed theoretical model. A total of 178 valid data points have been collected from both online survey and field questionnaire distribution. The results show that employees significantly experience technology overload when using MICTs in the workplace. The proposed two coping factors significantly improve employees’ job satisfaction. We also find significant effects of the moderation role of the two coping strategies but in different directions. This study contributes a theoretical foundation to the research on technostress, information overload, and also coping theory. It also provides managerial implications for how to evaluate and cope with technology overload effects.

    Research areas

  • Technology overload, information overload, interruption overload, mobile technostress, coping model of user adaptation, job satisfaction