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Technostress from a Neurobiological Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • René Riedl

    ()

  • Harald Kindermann

    ()

  • Andreas Auinger

    ()

  • Andrija Javor

    ()

Abstract

Despite the positive impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on an individual, organizational, and societal level (e.g., increased access to information, as well as enhanced performance and productivity), both scientific research and anecdotal evidence indicate that human-machine interaction, both in a private and organizational context, may lead to notable stress perceptions in users. This type of stress is referred to as technostress. A review of the literature shows that most studies used questionnaires to investigate the nature, antecedents, and consequences of technostress. Despite the value of the vast amount of questionnaire-based technostress research, we draw upon a different conceptual perspective, namely neurobiology. Specifically, we report on a laboratory experiment in which we investigated the effects of system breakdown on changes in users’ levels of cortisol, which is a major stress hormone in humans. The results of our study show that cortisol levels increase significantly as a consequence of system breakdown in a human-computer interaction task. In demonstrating this effect, our study has major implications for ICT research, development, management, and health policy. We confirm the value of a category of research heretofore largely neglected in ICT-related disciplines (particularly in business and information systems engineering, BISE, as well as information systems research, ISR), and argue that future research investigating human-machine interactions should consider the neurobiological perspective as a valuable complement to traditional concepts. Copyright Gabler Verlag 2012

Suggested Citation

  • René Riedl & Harald Kindermann & Andreas Auinger & Andrija Javor, 2012. "Technostress from a Neurobiological Perspective," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 4(2), pages 61-69, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:binfse:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:61-69
    DOI: 10.1007/s12599-012-0207-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Taiki Takahashi, 2005. "Social memory, social stress, and economic behaviors," Experimental 0512007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ralph L. Keeney, 1999. "The Value of Internet Commerce to the Customer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 533-542, April.
    3. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
    4. Peter Loos & René Riedl & Gernot Müller-Putz & Jan Brocke & Fred Davis & Rajiv Banker & Pierre-Majorique Léger, 2010. "NeuroIS: Neuroscientific Approaches in the Investigation and Development of Information Systems," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 2(6), pages 395-401, December.
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