Coping with mobile technology overload in the workplace

Pengzhen Yin, Carol Ou, R.M. Davison, Jie Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The overload effects associated with the use of mobile information and communication technologies (MICTs) in the workplace have become increasingly prevalent. The purpose of this paper is to examine the overload effects of using MICTs at work on employees’ job satisfaction, and explore the corresponding coping strategies.

The study is grounded on the cognitive load theory and the coping model of user adaptation. The overload antecedents and coping strategies are integrated into one model. Theoretical hypotheses are tested with survey data collected from a sample of 178 employees at work in China.

The results indicate that information overload significantly reduces job satisfaction, while the influence of interruption overload on job satisfaction is not significant. Two coping strategies (information processing timeliness and job control assistant support) can significantly improve job satisfaction. Information processing timeliness significantly moderates the relationships between two types of overload effects and job satisfaction. Job control assistant support also significantly moderates the relationship between interruption overload and job satisfaction.

Practical implications
This study suggests that information overload and interruption overload could constitute an important index to indicate employees’ overload level when using MICTs at work. The two coping strategies provide managers with effective ways to improve employees’ job satisfaction. By taking advantage of the moderation effects of coping strategies, managers could lower employees’ evaluation of overload to an appropriate level.

This study provides a comprehensive model to examine how the overload resulting from using MICTs in the workplace affects employees’ work status, and how to cope with it. Two types of overload are conceptualized and corresponding coping strategies are identified. The measurements of principal constructs are developed and empirically validated. The results provide theoretical and practical insights on human resource management and human–computer interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1212
JournalInternet Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Coping with mobile technology overload in the workplace'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this