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Communication chains and multitasking

Communication chains and multitasking,10.1145/1357054.1357069,Norman Makoto Su,Gloria Mark

Communication chains and multitasking   (Citations: 11)
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There is a growing literature on managing multitasking and interruptions in the workplace. In an ethnographic study, we investigated the phenomenon of communication chains, the occurrence of interactions in quick succession. Focusing on chains enable us to better understand the role of communication in multitasking. Our results reveal that chains are prevalent in information workers, and that attributes such as the number of links, and the rate of media and organizational switching can be predicted from the first catalyzing link of the chain. When chains are triggered by external interruptions, they have more links, a trend for more media switches and more organizational switches. We also found that more switching of organizational contexts in communication is associated with higher levels of stress. We describe the role of communication chains as performing alignment in multitasking and discuss the implications of our results. Author Keywords
Conference: Computer Human Interaction - CHI , pp. 83-92, 2008
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