Always Connected at Work? The Role of Information Novelty and Individual Needs



Purpose: As a result of new ICT developments, many workers are almost constantly connected to job-relevant information and co-workers, regardless of when or where they are working. Depending on workers’ psychological needs, constantly being connected may be perceived as favorable (e.g., when it enhances task clarity or task performance) or unfavorable (e.g., when it creates ambiguity or external control). In the present research, perceiving connectedness as either favorable or unfavorable was expected be a function of (a) information novelty, (b) need for structure, and (c) need for autonomy.

Methodology: Three experiments were conducted that manipulated connectedness and measured participants’ psychological needs. Participants were undergraduate students participating for partial course credits (Study 1 (N = 82), 2 (N = 86), 3 (N = 78)).

Results: We found that the effects of connectedness are contingent on the fit or misfit between information novelty and individual needs. More specifically, the findings of the present studies suggest that the favorable effect of being connected to novel incoming information is weakened when high in need for structure, and strengthened when high in need for autonomy.

Limitations: The experimental setup of connectedness in the current studies may threaten the generalizability of the results.

Implications/Originality: In addition to the experimental manipulation of connectedness, we addressed the question for whom connectedness is likely to be favorable. In order to reap the benefits from new ways of working without incurring the potential costs, the results suggest that organizations moving towards increased connectedness should take workers’ psychological needs into consideration.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 2015
EvenementEAWOP 2015 - Oslo, Norway
Duur: 20-mei-201523-mei-2015


ConferenceEAWOP 2015

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