The Role of Communication Technology Intensification on Employee Well-Being:
Does Age Matter?
 Katharine Korthase
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Nora P. Reilly
     The purpose of this study is to examine how generational membership moderates the relationship between well-being and intensified communication technology within the workplace. The increase of work pressure and expectations on employees, both during and outside of work hours, is becoming a topic of growing concern and is often referred to as work intensification (LeFevre, Boxal, & Macky, 2015). Green (2014) found that work intensification is partially the result of the rise in technology in the workplace, technology used to increase work efficiency and mangers ability to track productivity. Communication technology is defined as any technology that is used to mediate communication. Furthermore, LeFevre and colleague found that certain workers are more vulnerable to work intensification. Specifically, the effect of work intensification differs between men and women in such a way that women are more susceptible to experiencing higher levels of work intensification (2015). This relationship will be tested in this study. Demertouti, Derks, Lieke, and Bakker (2014) found that the rise of technology use in the workplace often results in information overload and social overload. This overload is expected to have a negative impact on an employee’s well-being. Specifically, the increase of communication technology will positively correlate with role ambiguity and role conflict in the organization, their home/work balance, and their relationships at work. Job Demands-Resource Theory (JD-R) suggests that the negative effects of job demands, such as emotional or physical demands, can be alleviated through job resources. Job resources include anything that reduce the cost or effect of demands or help employees complete their task (Tims, Bakker, & Derks, 2013). It is expected that employees’ relationship with communication technology will vary depending on their generational membership. Generational membership theory states that individuals who were born within the same period of time share a political, economic, and global environment that results in shared traits, values, and norms (Parry & Urwin, 2011). Based on this theory, it is suggested that employees who were born between the years of 1981 and 2000, also known as Millennials, were raised utilizing technology for work and communication purposes (Twenge, Campbell, Hoffman, & Lance, 2010). Specifically, it is hypothesized that generational membership will moderate the relationship between communication technology and employee well-being in such a that millennial employees experience higher levels of well-being when higher levels of communication technology is required. However, those who are a part of previous generational groups will experience lower levels of well-being when presented with higher levels of communication technology. Participants will be recruited using a survey vendor and asked to complete measures intended to assess generational membership, intensification of communication technology, and well-being. Implications and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
Keywords: Generational Membership, Work Intensification, Communication Technology Intensification, Well-Being
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