People on the other side are waiting: work obligations and shame in ICT-related Technostress

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


With the pervasiveness of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in organizations, employees continuously interact both online and offline. This continuous interaction leads to the construction of norms and obligations around the usage of technology, which can also result in negative impacts on the employees’ health, for example, technostress. Previous Information Systems research on technostress has focused on psychological or neurophysiological quantitative research on the use of ICTs and its effects. To our knowledge, there are no technostress studies that make use of the role of obligation, which in our view is a crucial lens, as it shifts the technostress debate to showing how the felt obligations constructed around the technology, can lead to technostress. To further explore how technostress arises, we use the analytical concept of obligation from the discipline Sociology of Emotions. Our data comes from an exploratory case study in a Danish fintech company. We find that employees take on themselves the ideals of ICTs being seamless, and when ICTs don’t live up to their expectations, they experience shame and guilt. To avoid such feelings, they construct obligations that lead to technostress. We contribute to technostress and IS literature by showing how obligation con- tributes to technostress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelected papers of the Information systems research seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS)
Number of pages16
PublisherAIS Electronic Library
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventIRIS43/SCIS11 - Digitalization in times of transition -
Duration: 9 Aug 202012 Aug 2020


ConferenceIRIS43/SCIS11 - Digitalization in times of transition
Internet address


  • Technostress
  • Obligation
  • Sociology
  • Information Systems


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