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Worker stress in the age of mobile technology: The combined effects of perceived interruption overload and worker control

Manju Ahuja, PhD S. Tams J. Thatcher V. Grover
The Journal of Strategic Information Systems Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2020, 101595. March 9, 2020

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Mobile technologies have dramatically increased the number of work-related interruptions, especially after regular work hours. At the same time, many employees have limited freedom to decide how and when they accomplish their work, a condition that renders the explosion of interruptions especially problematic. This study proposes that perceived interruption overload negatively impacts work-related technology-usage via workers’ experiences of work-life conflict, a key source of stress, and that this indirect effect is stronger for lower levels of worker control (moderated mediation). Data were collected from 601 knowledge workers and analyzed through Conditional process analysis, which integrates moderation and mediation analyses. The results supported our model. This study takes an important step toward elucidating the role of mobile technology in work-life conflict and technostress, and it illustrates the roles of perceived interruption overload as well as conflict and technostress in IT use.