Management Information Systems Quarterly


Understanding information technology (IT) use is vital for the information systems (IS) discipline due to its substantial positive and negative consequences. In recent years, IT use for personal purposes has grown rapidly. Although personal use is voluntary and can often reflect fun, technostress is a common negative consequence of such use. When left unaddressed, technostress can cause serious harm to IT users. However, prior research has not explained how technostress forms over time or how its mitigation takes place in a personal—rather than organizational—environment. To address these research gaps, we conducted a qualitative study with narrative interviews of IT users who had experienced technostress. This study contributes to (1) the technostress literature by unpacking states in which technostress forms and can be mitigated and (2) the IT affordance literature by explaining the role of affordances and their actualizations in technostress as well as introducing the new concept of actualization cost. In terms of practice, our findings help individuals and societies identify the development of technostress, understand the activities required for its mitigation, and recognize mitigation barriers.