Ashish Gupta, and Han Li, both from School of Business, have an article titled “Should I send this Message? Understanding the Impact of Interruptions, Social Hierarchy and Perceived Task Complexity on User Performance and Perceived Workload ” accepted for publication in Decision Support Systems Journal, an ‘A’ ranked journal.

Abstract: Instant messenger technologies have become a common place for collaborative work and group decision support. Managers need to understand the potential impact of using IM in an organization. This paper contributes to the literature on Instant Messaging and primary task performance by theorizing and empirically testing how the interruption frequency of IM could intertwine with the social characteristics of IM communication and jointly influence user task performance and perceived workload. Using experimental design, we found that the effect of interruption on primary task completion time is dependent upon the hierarchical level of the message sender. Interruptions from a supervisor were found to reduce primary task completion time whereas interruptions from a peer increased primary task completion time. On the other hand, interruptions from a supervisor aggravated the negative impact of interruptions on task quality. Thus, it may be important for members and leaders of group decision teams to be more careful in use of instant messaging with their peers and subordinates.