Technostress mitigation : an experimental study of social support during a computer freeze

Faculty/Professorship: Information Systems and Services  
Author(s): Weinert, Christoph  ; Maier, Christian  ; Laumer, Sven ; Weitzel, Tim  
Title of the Journal: Journal of Business Economics
ISSN: 0044-2372
Publisher Information: Berlin ; Heidelberg : Springer
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 90
Issue: 8
Pages: 1199-1249
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1007/s11573-020-00986-y
In situations when Information Systems (IS) do not work as intended, using IS might hinder their users and let them perceive technostress; this then comes along with reduced user performance and high perceptions of exhaustion, among others. To alleviate these consequences, a mitigating behavior of stressed users is to seek social support to get instrumental (e.g., from the help desk) or emotional (e.g., consolation) backing. Using insights from psychology literature that suggest social support reduces the consequences of stressors, this paper investigates how instrumental and emotional support reduces the consequences of techno-stressors, such as reduced end-user performance, techno-exhaustion, and physiological arousal, caused by techno-unreliability such as a computer freeze. In a laboratory setting, measurements of skin conductance were used to evaluate the technostress of 73 subjects, manipulated by techno-unreliability and then treated with instrumental and emotional support. The findings indicate that social support increased end-user performance as well as reduced techno-exhaustion and physiological arousal. In particular, instrumental support directly influenced end-user performance, techno-exhaustion, and physiological arousal, whereas emotional support only influenced techno-exhaustion. Further, this study provides the first indications that the effect of social support on technostress depends on individual differences.
GND Keywords: Soziale Unterstützung; Unzuverlässigkeit; Web Technologie; Individuelle Datenverarbeitung; Erschöpfung; Erregung; Psychogalvanische Reaktion
Keywords: Instrumental and emotional support, Techno-unreliability, End-user performance, Exhaustion, Arousal, Skin conductance
DDC Classification: 004 Computer science  
150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: ST 515   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 10. February 2021