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Original Research

Investigating e-mail overload in the South African banking industry

E. Burger, C. Rensleigh

SA Journal of Information Management; Vol 9, No 3 (2007), . doi: 10.4102/sajim.v9i3.33

Submitted: 03 November 2007
Published:  03 November 2007


The information workers of today have a wide range of information sources available to make valuable decisions, so much so that it can lead to information overload. The purpose of this research was to investigate the extent of information overload in the South African banking industry. The empirical part of this study was done at the Standard Bank of South
Africa, where 115 questionnaires were distributed to three categories of employees. It was found that e-mail is one of the most used computer-mediated applications and is used more than the World-Wide Web, instant messaging or peer-to-peer file sharing. Of the respondents, 65% felt overwhelmed by the amount of e-mails they received as 25% received
more than 60 e-mails per day. A third of the respondents dedicated three hours or more to e-mails per day. Respondents agreed that the implementation of policies is important to ensure compliance with legislation, protection of privacy rights and copyright, and the filtering of spam. In conclusion, the respondents indicated that formal training in e-mail management should make a significant difference in the usage of e-mail within the organization and
reduce e-mail overload. 

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Author affiliations

E. Burger, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
C. Rensleigh, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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ISSN: 2078-1865 (print) | ISSN: 1560-683X (online)

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