Abstract: Electronic mail (e-mail) is a commonly used channel for business and personal communication with use on the rise from 1.4 billion users daily in 2009 to greater than 1.9 billion estimated by 2013. The problem addressed was the perception of e-mail communication effectiveness and productivity, using different e-mail processing strategies and a comparison of whether the number of e-mails received and sent differed by time increment. The experimental design quantitative research project compared perceptions of e-mail communication effectiveness and e-mail productivity using different e-mail processing strategies (the way users process new e-mail alerts), between experiment groups using a cross-sectional study posttest only design, conducted once. A test-retest pilot study was conducted prior to the experiment. The study population included 335 employees from one company. Experiment groups were formed using random assignment. Group A was instructed to process one e-mail message at a time and ignore the new message alert. Group B was instructed to multitask across e-mail messages. After the experiment, participants completed an online questionnaire. The usable experiment data included 136 participants (group A = 71; group B = 65). A post hoc power analysis revealed a power of .999. Using t-tests the null hypothesis was rejected that no difference existed in the mean e-mail communication effectiveness rating (research question 1), and e-mail productivity rating (research question 2) between group A and group B (p < .0001 for Q1; p < .0001 for Q2), with higher means for group A for both research questions. Chi-square testing failed to reject the null hypothesis that no difference existed in the mean number of e-mails received (research question 3), and sent (research question 4), by time increment (χ2 = 0.015, p = .992 for Q3; χ2 = 0.576, p = .750 for Q4). The implication of findings and recommendation is that employees increase e-mail communication effectiveness and increase e-mail productivity by minimizing e-mail multitasking, without a significant change in the number of e-mails received or sent. Future research is recommended to investigate multiple companies and locations, managers versus non-managers, measure outcomes instead of relying on participant self-reporting, and include other communication channels.
Keywords: Communication effectiveness,Email,Productivity, Quantitative