Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Connectivity has become the hallmark of modern work and has shaped the social life of many. Originating from a technical discourse, connectivity to work is reflected in numerous disciplinary discourses. While previous studies have identified negative effects on employees, the specific mechanisms which cause these effects are still poorly understood. The broadening of the term “connectivity” and the profound changes in the technical connectivity infrastructure require an adjusted conceptualization of connectivity, its structural causes and dimensions, how these dimensions interact, and how they explain different outcomes of connectivity. Based on a review of extant literature on connectivity and interviews with consultants, we develop a framework of connectivity that conceptualizes individual connectivity to work (social and technical) and its psychological impact (emotional, cognitive, behavioral). We derive extensive connectivity to work as a cause of strain. We develop two strategies, which allow employees to control extensive connectivity to work and cope with its effects. Preventive detachment aims to control the extent of connectivity and the psychological responses that lead to extensive connectivity if not controlled. Therapeutic detachment aims to reduce the strain resulting from extensive connectivity to work.





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