Reducing Information Overload through Appropriate Media Choice

John D'Ambra, The University of New South Wales


Information overload is a multidimensional problem experienced by all knowledge workers resulting in a negative impact on

personal productivity, one major dimension being the overuse of email in organizational contexts. The aim of this research in

progress paper is to reduce the impact of perceived information overload and thereby increase the productivity of Australian

knowledge workers. This will be achieved by matching the affordances of instant messaging and email to communication

tasks ensuring an appropriate fit between media, task and context. A contextual approach is proposed to consider the

affordances of both email and instant messaging, followed by a research model to test the hypothesis that appropriate use of

instant message will reduce perceived information overload.