ABSTRACT: In today's fast-paced business environment,
companies are dependant on Technology to link personnel across Cities,
States and Countries too.
or 'Electronic Mail' is one of the recent technologies
used in organizational communication to conduct business transactions
with people all around the world. It is convenient, accessible
and faster than other channels and hence considered as the
"Life-line" of any organization. Unlike the Cellular
phones, E-mail facilities are not optimized among the members
of the organization to communicate effectively with customers,
suppliers, agents, bankers and other professional bodies.
Therefore, a study
was made to find out the preferences of using E-mail in organizations
in India and to know the reasons for their preferences. Among men
and women the preference levels was assessed to understand the factors
influencing them to choose E-mail as a channel to communicate. As
result, suggestions have been recommended for the efficient use
of the technology in communication.
INTRODUCTION: Technology enabled Business Communication
is common and now many business houses are moving at e-speed and
operating globally too. The explosion of information available to
business has created a maze of data for professionals to manage
the formal routine messages across the national borders for exporting,
importing, manufacturing contracts and partnerships with foreign
firms and franchising. The number of Multinational Corporations
continues as well that facilitates to conduct international transactions
and maintain operations several countries.
The written communications in the form of letters, memos,
circulars or proposals are sent through e-mail as messages to an
audience of one or thousands in a matter of a minute. The same message
can also be forwarded to many individuals instantly. The following
is a chart showing the communication process using E-mail as a channel
to transmit information at work place between individuals. In
spite of the convenience, quickness and effectiveness of the
channel some individuals seemed to prefer other channels to communicate
their ideas, information or responses in a formal situation. This
may be due to some reasons that they do not prefer using the electronic
media for their formal messages at work place.
Hence a study
was conducted to find the preferences among individuals in choosing
E-mail as a channel for professional communication
and various factors
that influence their preferences. Further probing into the subject
was done by analyzing the preference in usage of E-mail in Business
A Model of the Communication Process
Person A Person B
The following are the objectives of the study:
. To find out the preferences of using Electronic Mail in Organisational
. To assess the level of preferences prevailing among men and women
for electronic communication at work.
. To identify the reasons for varied level of preferences among
III. METHODOLOGY Fifty respondents from different profession
namely education, health, services, etc were chosen as sample for
the study. A Questionnaire with three point scale was used as the
instrument for data collection. It includes aspects like -
. Preference towards E-mail communication
. Frequency of usage
. Reasons for preference and Non-preference.
Statistical tools like Percentage analysis was used to assess the
preferences of individuals and the reasons for their preference
in using the technology. Using Cross Tabulation the level of preference
prevailing among the genders for E-mail communication was also analyzed.
IV. ANALYSIS: E-mail is one of the common and recent technologies
used in organizations to communicate both internally and externally.
However the frequency of using the electronic media tend to vary
among the respondents based on their preferences. Though most (56%)
of the respondents prefer to use the channel, there are still (14%)
who do not prefer using this communication media.
The study also reveals
the reasons for choosing the E-mail technology among the respondents.
(Table 1). When further probing into the reasons for varied frequency
of usage among the respondents, it was mainly due to the pros and
cons of the communication technology. Access to the technology and
lack of knowledge about the usage were found to be the barriers
for higher frequency usage of the E-mail facility.
Table 1: Showing the reasons for using Electronic Mail in communication.
Frequency of using the channel Reasons for their preferences
Always . Quickness
Sometimes . Availability
Never . Lack of knowledge
. Time consuming
. No consistency
. Deferred response
Due to these reasons usage pattern among the respondents vary and
thereby form the factors to influence their preference levels. The
electronic mailing system in an effective channel for many individuals
because messages are transmitted immediately, it is convenient to
send or receive information across the boundaries with efficiency
of reach and also economical for brief messages that are sent urgently
to the receivers around the world.
are some individuals for using E-mail occasionally because
the facilities may not be available always; no security for
the information, lack of accuracy in case of long messages
or forwarded messages and also sometimes the information conveyed
through an email is very brief that does not fulfill the needs
of sender or receiver in the process. Few of the respondents
do not prefer to use the technology at work place due to the
barriers like - lack of technical knowledge relating to the
profound use of the E-mail channel, time consumed to complete
the communication process, inconsistent messages may be found
and also immediate response may not be always possible in
Both men and women
are exposed to E-mail as a communication technology in their
day to day professional lives. So the data was collected to find
out the usage pattern of the respondents for communicating through
electronic media. But the survey reveals that the preference levels
are not the same. So the gender differences relating to the preference
of E-mail based on the usage frequency in organizations were analyzed
(Table 2) using Cross tabulation.
Table: 2 showing
the Gender differences in E-mail communication.
Gender Always Sometimes
Count 17 11 3 31
% within Gender 54.8% 35.5% 9.7% 100%
% within Preference levels 60.7% 73.3% 42.9% 62.0%
Count 11 4 4 19
% within Gender 57.9% 21.1% 21.1% 100%
% within Preference levels 39.3% 26.7% 57.1% 38.0%
Count 28 15 7 50
% within Gender 56.0% 30.0% 14.0% 100%
% within Preference levels 100% 100% 100% 100%
The preference among Men and Women differ in choosing E-mail
as the media to transmit official messages in work place. The frequency
and the levels of preferences also vary between them creating a
technological impact in formal communication. Out of 31 men, 17
of them use the facility always. 11 men use it occasionally and
3 of them never use the channel to communicate. Whereas, out of
19 women respondents, 11 of them always use Electronic media, 4
of the women do not use frequently and the remaining 4 women seem
to never prefer to communicate. Email as a protocol can be used
to bridge the gender gap and remove the discrimination in preference
levels that hinders in preference levels that hinders the effectiveness
in technology enabled communication.
V. FINDINGS &
SUGGESTIONS: . The study infers that (Pie chart) among the fifty
respondents, 56% of individuals are using Email always and 30% of
them use the facility sometimes only. Also there are 14% of the
total individuals to convey that they never choose Email to transfer
information at work place.
. In today's technology-driven
organizations. E-mail is an essential and effective media to manage
the information and avoid communication disasters. So it can be
suggested that E-mail can be maximized in organizational communication
to achieve the best results with a short period. . With reference
to Table: 1, the respondents prefer to communicate always through
the Electronic media because of it features like Quickness, Convenience,
Reach and Economical. Among them, the most commonly believed reason
for always using the technology was found to be "Quickness"
and "Convenience" only. It means that E-mail communication
facilitates quick delivery of messages and has a better reach than
. Table: 1
also reveals that among the respondents using E-mail sometimes for
their communication purposes seem to have reasons like the facility
may not be always available to meet their needs, it may not have
privacy for the confidential messages, sometimes not accurate in
terms of time, message, etc. and even inadequate for transmitting
long and detailed reports that are to be immediately delivered to
distant receivers. The most commonly felt reason was found to be
"Inaccuracy" which shows that Email is not suitable for
such kind of messages that requires absolute accuracy and "Fax"
can be used to send those messages to serve the purpose.
. There are few
respondents shown in Table: 1, for never using the electronic
media in communication because of the reasons like lack of technical
knowledge or lack of latest uses of E-mail applications relating
to their work culture, may be time consuming when they lack adequate
training and experience in applications, seem to feel about consistency
in the information flow and also convey that the receiver of the
E-mail messages may not acknowledge or reply quickly to the sender.
The major reason for not using the channel was found to be "Lack
of knowledge" in E-mail applications and hence awareness can
be created to those respondents to acquire the latest information
on E-mail applications through programs, journals, internet, books,
exhibitions, conferences etc. . From Table: 2 it can be understood
that the preference of using the channel are not common between
men and women. When compared to men, 21% of women are found to avoid
the E-mail technology always and another 21% of them sometimes,
may be due to ignorance, incredibility and also the fluency in such
applications. So they can widen their knowledge with regard to technology
enabled communication through constant training and updating the
latest developments in office automation. . Women can optimize
their E-mail communication and try to remove the gender discrimination
at work place.
. Table : 2 also
reveals that within the preference levels, 73.3% of men prefer
to communicate through electronic mail sometimes, 42.9% never use
it and 60.7% of men seem to use it always.
. Among women,
the preference levels vary with men and 57.1% are found to be
never using the technology, 39.3% always and 26.7% occasionally.
This shows that women are influenced by many factors in choosing
the communication channel than men who seem to be convenient with
the technology and avail the maximum benefits from the quickest
means of communication. More opportunities can be given to women
to understand the best of the channel and increase their frequency
of using the technology.
Electronic Mail is an extremely valuable communication tool
that each day the
number of email messages received and sent in an organizations increase
and will probably continue to increase as more and more people get
online. Perhaps, this study can help the individuals to choose the
electronic channel appropriately in business communication by mastering
the different uses of E-mail communication in the work place. It
may be a critical skill but an essential one for achieving managerial
excellence in organizational communication. The technical knowledge
can often be used to facilitate both internal and external networks
like coordinating meetings, building rapport with others, prompt
decisions during crisis situations, conferencing with individuals
of different countries at a time etc. Realizing the potent services
of the channel both men and women can minimize the common errors
faced in written communication and can also avoid confrontations
through the electronic channel. To conclude, this study can harness
the power of E-mail correspondence and show the ways to optimize
E-mail applications at work. So let's meet the communication challenges
through bits and bytes and strengthen the organization as a whole
with technology enabled communication.
1. Laurie. K. Benson, E-communication - Communicating effectively
in a Digital Age, Jaico Publishing House, 2002 edition.
2. Shirley Taylor, Effective E-mail Communication, Dreamtech publication,
3. Matthukutty. M. Monipally, Business Communication Strategies,
Tata McGraw - Hill publishing Co. Ltd., 2001 edition.
4. Pamela Angel, Business Communication Design McGraw - Hill, 2004
5. Plung Montgomery, Professional Communication, Thomson Publications,
Written By: By Dr.R.Krishnaveni
& Ms. R.Thamaraiselvi Email:
[email protected] Ms. R. Thamaraiselvi - Faculty with more than
12 yrs of teaching management to graduates and executives. An efficient
Corporate Trainer in human resource area. A free lancer to some
of the leading publications in India. Pursuing Phd in the Organizational