Revealing the Obligations that lead to ICT-related Technostress in the Digital Workplace

Raluca Stana

Research output: Book / Anthology / Report / Ph.D. thesisPh.D. thesis


Technostress is a growing area of research and a concern for practitioners. So far, IS research on technostress has assumed that the environment in which technostress arises is the technology environment. However, I argue that a sociological approach can further our understanding of how technostress is co-constructed in the workplace around the usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). I ask: “What can the sociological lens of obligation reveal about ICT-related technostress in organizations?”. To investigate this question, I use the sociological concept of obligation. Obligation is the feeling that we owe something to ourselves, others, organizations, or the society as a whole. I conduct interpretative research based on qualitative data: interviews, case study research, and journal entries. I analyze these different types of data by using thematic analysis, content analysis, or life narratives. I contribute to IS technostress research by employing the analytical lens of obligation, which allows me to 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 leads to technostress for the collective. Furthermore, I find that tensions between overlapping obligations that cannot be carried out simultaneously also augment technostress. I contribute to practice by making visible the obligations that can lead to technostress for employees, which can be used to consciously re-negotiate patterns of interaction and communication that would lead to more desired outcomes for organizations.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherIT-Universitetet i København
Number of pages133
ISBN (Print)978-87-7949-051-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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