Workshop Series: Adela Chen

24 May, 2013 - 10:30 to 12:00
Room 430 Joyce Ackroyd Building #37


The study examines the effects of technology-mediated work-related interruptions that occur during one’s personal time (as opposed to occurring during working hours) on both work and personal life outcomes. Based on the source of the interruption, we differentiate between two types of interruptions - other-initiated and self-initiated - and propose differential effects. Drawing upon task-level interruption studies and the overarching framework of work life interface, we further theorize both enriching and depleting effects of such interruptions on outcomes, and identify three mediating mechanisms via which these effects occur. Specifically, from the perspective of work life interference, we identify interruption overload and psychological transition as the two mediating mechanisms via which depleting effects occur. From the perspective of work life enrichment, we identify task closure as a mediating mechanism via which enriching effects occur. To test the model, we collected survey data from 237 knowledge workers across the United States. The results reveal distinct effects of other-initiated and self-initiated interruptions on the domains of work and personal life through the three mediating mechanisms. Interruption overload mediates the depleting effects of both other-initiated and self-initiated interruptions on work exhaustion, nonwork exhaustion, and work performance (but not on nonwork performance), with self-initiated interruptions having a weaker effect on interruption overload than other-initiated interruptions. Task closure mediates the enriching effects of self-initiated interruptions on work exhaustion and work performance. Psychological transition mediates the depleting effects of both other-initiated and self-initiated interruptions on work exhaustion. The study concludes with implications for research and practice.

Assistant Professor Adela Chen, Department of IT & Operations Management, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

Adela Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of IT & Operations Management at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Her primary research area to date is behavioral research in information systems. Specifically, she pursues two major streams of research: (1) Her primary stream of research is centered on interruptions in human‐computer interactions and examines performance and decision‐making in technology‐mediated work environments; (2) Her second stream of research concentrates on green IS (i.e., the impact of information systems and information technologies on environmental sustainability). She has experience collecting and analyzing both quantitative (such as survey, experiment, and archival research) and qualitative data (such as interviews, observation, and focus groups). She has published in journals such as MIS Quarterly, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Information & Management, Journal of Systems and Information Technology, and in conference proceedings such as the International Conference on Information Systems.