Exploring Methods for Investigating Technostress in Situ: Understanding the Day and the Life of a Knowledge Worker Using Heart Rate Variability
Schellhammer Stefan, Haines Russell, Klein Stefan
The proliferation of information and communication technology (ICT) throughout workplace and home life is thought to increase feelings of being overloaded, drained, and/or burned out. This phenomenon is termed “technostress.” In this relatively new line of research, scholars have employed predominantly questionnaire surveys and experiments to investigate the phenomenon. This paper argues for an interpretive, theory building approach for studying technostress, motivated by two shortcomings of these data collection techniques: questionnaire surveys rely on potentially imperfect participant recall, while experiments cannot find root causes of technostress during the course of a normal work day. Linking periods of bodily-experienced stress measured by heart rate variability with qualitative data enables an interpretive, theory building approach that allows for a richer understanding of whether and how ICT contributes to stress.