Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Our understanding of how interrupting the work of an individual affects group outcomes and the role of communication technologies (CT) in shaping these effects is limited. Drawing upon coordination theory and the literatures on computer-mediated communication and interruptions, this paper develops a multilevel theory of work interruptions. It suggests that interruptions that target individuals can also affect other group members through various ripple effects and a cross-level direct effect. We also discuss how the usage of five CT capabilities during interruption episodes can moderate the impact of interruptions at the individual and group levels. Our theoretical model draws attention to the importance of examining the individual-to-group processes to better understand the impact of interruptions in group environments. Additionally, by accounting for the role of the use of CT capabilities during interruption episodes, our work contributes to both the interruptions literature, which dedicates scant attention to the interrupting media, and to IS research on media use and media effects.