E-mail is becoming the most ubiquitous medium for communication within organizations. The reasons that have led to the popularity and wide-spread adoption of e-mail have also become the cause of issues such as e-mail overload, stress, interruptions, prolonged work hours, etc. Although the time spent on e-mail may represent as much as 25 percent to 40 percent of a knowledge worker’s daily time, MIS research on this topic is relatively sparse. While there has been some research in related disciplines on the use of e-mail (e.g., Whittaker et al. 2005), more effort has been focused on spam control than on the management of real e- mail. In a recent MIS Quarterly editorial, Ron Weber (2004) called for more research on the proper use of e-mail by knowledge workers. For example, the concept of e-mail overload has not been clearly defined in the literature; subsequently, there is a need to develop metrics for this phenomenon. On the other hand, many knowledge workers seem to check their e-mail through PDAs even during a face-to-face meeting. This may lead to interesting dynamics within a physical meeting. In this panel, we study both technical and empirical perspectives to better understand the problem of e-mail management. The panel will focus on the use of e-mail in the workplace, the predictors and consequences of e-mail overload, and approaches and techniques to minimize the adverse effects of e-mail overload. The goal will be to share recent research by the panelists in academia and industry, and to identify mutually beneficial research opportunities for managing e-mail. This panel session will bring together industry and academic research from various disciplines on an important problem that has so far received relatively little attention in the IS literature and will help focus on research that has high practical significance and usability. The panelists believe that e-mail management is one area where IS research can make a significant, measurable impact.
Sharda, Ramesh; Ducheneaut, Nicolas; Zhao, J.; Gupta, Ashish; and Weber, Ron, "E-Mail Management: A Techno-Managerial Research Perspective" (2005). ICIS 2005 Proceedings. 76.