A Cautionary Tale: How Co-Constructed Work Obligations Lead to ICT-Related Technostress

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Technostress is a growing area of research and a concern for practitioners. So far, IS research on technostress has focused on either neurophysiological or psychological measurements. We argue for a sociological approach that allows us to reveal the socially co-created obligations around using ICTs (information and communication technologies). We ask, "What can the sociological analytical concept of obligation reveal about ICT related technostress in organizations?" To investigate this question, we use the sociological concept of obligation. We conduct interpretative research based on qualitative interviews. We find that employees see technostress as their individual obligation and devise strategies to avoid it. These strategies add to their technostress and augment group obligations that can lead to technostress for the collective. We contribute to theory by employing a new-to-IS theory and a qualitative approach to investigate technostress. We also contribute to practice by revealing specific obligations that contribute to technostress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
PublisherUniversity of Hawai'i at Manoa
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Technostress
  • Sociological approach
  • Obligations
  • ICT usage
  • Qualitative research


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