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Understanding the Factors that Effect Information Overload and Miscommunication within the Workplace

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Executive Summary

This paper explores and creates a model that shows the relationship between email interaction and the negative effects of e-mail use. The authors focus on the process of personalization, a learning process in which users adapt e-mail to their own specific individual needs. This process is used to explain two negative e-mail effects, information overload and miscommunication, and identify different variables that can influence this personalization process, from task characteristics to management interventions. The resulting model was tested by a survey conducted with ten different organizations, which lead to the conclusion that, task related factors, user related factors, social influence and perceived medium characteristics influence both personalization and negative effects, and personalization of e-mail use leads to miscommunication.

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