The Effect of E-Mail Use and Adoption on Organizational Participation: The Case of a Public Administration
Human Systems Management, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 27-39
14 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2012 Last revised: 21 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 26, 2012
Improving organizational participation is becoming more and more important as organizations are trying to shift from a bureaucratic model based on work specialization and division of labor towards knowledge-intensive organizations built on competence sharing and team working. The aim of this paper is to investigate participation in decision making mediated by e-mail (e-PDM) among organizational members that are in similar hierarchical positions. The conceptual background of the study integrates the organizational theories on PDM and the computer-mediated communication (CMC) literature. Data analysis, based on an empirical research conducted in an Italian governmental agency, investigates the factors that affect the adoption of horizontal e-PDM in the workplace and to what extent this is mediated by the interplay between technology and social context. Our results suggest that social structuration of technology and social processes in organizations do have an impact on e-mail use for participative purposes, and that, along with group characteristics, leadership plays a major role in enabling work group members to increase horizontal e-PDM.
Keywords: e-mail communication, organizational participation, CMC
JEL Classification: D83, L14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation