The influence of e-mail on three basic organization components: structure, people, and tasks is explored. An organizational interaction diamond model is developed.. The setting is a large, public university. The sample population consists of 390 administrators, professional and clerical support staff. Data were collected via a written questionnaire with a 54 percent return rate. Results reveal e-mail does not alter the organization structure, but bridges hierarchical boundaries at the middle and departmental levels, but not at the senior level nor across functional boundaries. E-mail usage increases to span geographical distances and to coordinate people from dispersed organization units. E-mail enables new network paths to co-exist within the traditional hierarchical structure. E-mail is used more for horizontal than for vertical communication. The interaction among e-mail, job categories, and tasks reveals that the media channel selection varies by job category and task types. The perceived importance of using e-mail is highly associated with the frequency of use of e-mail to provide access to various job categories at different organization levels and for different task types.
Wigard, Dianna Lux, "Information Technology in Organizations: Impact on Structure, People,
and Tasks" (1996). AMCIS 1996 Proceedings. 175.