The relationships between e-mail use and employees' perceptions of role stress and job performance : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
A group of employees from a large educational institute (n=167) participated in this study which aimed to examine the impact of e-mail use on employees' perceptions of role stress and job performance. The study also aimed to investigate the possibility that role stress mediates the relationship between e-mail use and job performance. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire, which included measures of e-mail use, role stress and job performance. Data was examined as outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986) to explore the potential mediating effects of role stress. Results did not support a mediating model, but indicated several bi-variate relationships. The greater use of e-mail for routine purposes was found to be associated with higher perceptions of role overload and lower perceptions of role conflict. Also, the greater use of e-mail for bulletin board purposes was found to be associated with lower perceptions of resource inadequacy and higher perceptions of job performance. Post hoc hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to test for possible moderating relationships, of which only two were found to be significant. Overall, by incorporating various uses of e-mail, this study builds on previous research, which has found e-mail use to be unrelated to perceptions of overload. In addition, this piece of research illustrates the need to explore further the individual and organisational consequences of the bulletin board use of e-mail within organisations. Limitations and other potential areas for future research are also highlighted.