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The Role of Contextual Clues in the Creation of Information Overload


Author Info

  • Chris Kimble

    (University of York UK)

  • Paul Hildreth

    (University of York UK)

  • David J Grimshaw

    (Cranfield University)


There has been an explosion of new forms of communications media for interpersonal communication. There is anecdotal evidence of people suffering from 'information overload' as a result of these developments. This paper presents the results from, and analysis of, a case study of a perceived problem of information overload from e-mail in a large international organization: Watson Wyatt Partners. The research took two approaches to exploring the problem. The first was a survey of 1500 members of staff in the UK and Europe. This was aimed at collecting factual information. The second approach was to conduct follow up interviews with 19 people at two sites in the UK to explore some of the issues raised by the survey in greater depth. In the paper, we argue that for CMCs (Computer Mediated Communications) to be effective there is a need to establish a 'context' in which the message can be interpreted. In doing so, we will demonstrate that ignoring the degree of 'context' a media provides can adversely affect the users perceptions of that media.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0504003.

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Length: 7 pages
Date of creation: 08 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0504003

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 7. The Role of Contextual Clues in the Creation of Information Overload. Matching Technology with Organisational Needs, Proceedings of 3rd UKAIS Conference, April 1998, Lincoln University, McGraw Hill, pp 405 - 412.
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Related research

Keywords: Electronic mail; e-mail; CMC; communication technology; contextual clues; information overload;

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Cited by:
  1. Chris Kimble & William Selby, 2005. "An interdisciplinary study of information systems: Christopher Alexander and IS failure," Development and Comp Systems 0505006, EconWPA.


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