Negative Outcomes of ICT Use at Work: Meta-analytic Evidence and the Role of Job Autonomy
Karimikia, H; Singh, H; Joseph, D
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Purpose Individuals can improve their task performance by using information and communications technology (ICT). However, individuals who use ICT may also suffer from negative outcomes, such as burnout and anxiety, which lead to poorer performance and well-being. While researchers have studied the positive outcomes of ICT use in the aggregate, the same has not been done for negative outcomes. Design/methodology/approach This study uses a meta-analysis of 52 studies to examine the relationship between ICT use and negative outcomes, and the influence of job autonomy on ICT use and the negative outcomes of ICT use. Job autonomy is relevant because a higher level of job autonomy allows individuals to decide how, how often and when they will use ICT that is causing negative outcomes for their work. Findings The results of the meta-analysis revealed that ICT use increased negative job outcomes and that, unexpectedly, autonomy exacerbated this effect. Research limitations/implications The results of this study point to the prevalence of negative outcomes from ICT use among individuals. Researchers should study how users may potentially restrict the value that organizations may be able to obtain from the implementation of new systems, especially whether individual-level negative outcomes could coalesce into a collective resistance. There also needs to be further research into the motivating and inhibiting roles of autonomy in enhancing ICT use, while mitigating its negative impacts simultaneously. Originality/value The study provides an aggregate analysis of the negative impacts of ICT use among individuals and the role of autonomy in the relationship.