This paper investigates how individual perceptions and attitudes about an organization influence multitasking behaviors in the workplace. While we know that individuals’ behaviors are influenced by the characteristics of their organizations (e.g., ICTs, physical layout), we still do not know much about how the way individuals interpret their organization influences their multitasking behaviors. We first hypothesize that individual perceptions of organizational preferences for multitasking (i.e. organizational polychronicity) have impacts on actually enacted multitasking behaviors. We also hypothesize that the attachment to the organization (i.e. organizational identification) moderates the above relationship. We conducted a mixed method study in two knowledge intensive organizations and collected data through a survey, diaries, and semi-structured interviews. Our findings support the first hypothesis but not the moderating role of organizational identification. However, this latter seems to be directly related on how much a person is willing to work on different activities, but not on how much she interrupts others or accepts being interrupted. Further, our study suggests that not only the organizational context should be investigated in the study of multitasking behaviors, but also the larger work context, including the individuals’ professional communities.
Incerti, Valerio; Bertolotti, Fabiola; and Mattarelli, Elisa, "ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT AND MULTITASKING BEHAVIORS: A MIXED-METHOD STUDY" in Mola, L., Carugati, A,. Kokkinaki, A., Pouloudi, N., (eds) (2014) Proceedings of the 8th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems, Verona, Italy, September 03-05. CD-ROM. ISBN: 978-88-6787-273-2.