Affiliated Organization

Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop


Information and communication technologies are employed in every aspect of contemporary life. Facilitated by ICT, many innovations in the organization of work have taken hold. The effects of these developments on the quality of life are disputed. By referring to the phenomenon of ‘technostress,’ scholars’ caution against potentially harmful effects of ICT on workers’ health. This relatively new line of research roots the sources of stress for the individual in features of ICT. The present paper is motivated by the observation that ICT is also rooted in social relations. The way it is used is heavily influenced by social norms and sensemaking. Based on this, the paper theorizes about new sources of stress originating from the social sphere that are enabled and facilitated by ICT. In particular, the paper investigates the notion of ‘appropriateness’ as a theoretical building block for a more complex understanding of stress in today’s workplaces. In doing so, the paper seeks to establish a new theoretical framework capable of investigating new sources of stress on a theoretical as well as empirical level.