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Alexina Portal

DBA Graduate - 2012

Thesis title

Specificity and Efficiency of Strategies Developed to Share Emotions when Writing an Email for Business Purpose.

Supervisor(s)

Dominique Steiler
Compared to the large number of studies developed around the topics of emotions at work, literature on emotions communicated via emails tends to declare the tool as inappropriate with risk of overestimation or interpretation and pose a challenge to users due to the often ambiguous nature of emotions. Much research has concentrated on identifying if those emotions that became essential for organizations could be transferred by new technologies for personal communication or personal purposes, if it could have an impact on the way people globally communicate, and if that is efficient enough. Users might be tempted to create artifacts for building a relationship when corresponding via computer as most of communication mediated by computer (emails, forums, instant messages) are indeed characterized by the absence of the nonverbal channel. Other research has been conducted to check the impact on the way people communicate for their job, compared with phones or meeting habits, but the study of the effect of communicating emotions by email is rare and the efficiency of strategies developed for transferring emotions via email for business purposes is not clear. Motivated by the wish to go deeply into this comprehension of communication mode in order to understand if the phenomenon could really change the way people work, will continue to communicate and if it will impact the performance and efficiency developed at workplace, we have developed this study: are the specificities of strategies developed to share emotions when writing an email for business purpose efficient? We identified two exploratory questions: Would employees create their own specific strategy for communicating their emotions via emails efficiently? If those strategies take many different forms, could they create a gap of comprehension between senders and receivers of emails that could impact the wished efficiency? The idea was to collect writers of emails’ own perceptions about their capacities to send their wished emotions via their emails and then measure if they could be certain that the receiver of the email got the emotions transmitted, which could have a positive or negative impact on their job, the way to do it and increase or decrease their performance. Our specific approach developed to collect and analyze data being consistent with the methodology implemented helped us to introduce some orientations for an effective electronic communication when users want to express emotions and if they wish to share and put the receiver in a situation with no bad interpretation options. Our study is cross-disciplinary as it contributes to the disciplines of management, organizational behavior, communication, human resources, and information system management. However, the major contribution goes to the organizational behavior discipline as being placed in an individual environment; facing the screen of a PC, email users can be influenced on the type of emotions to share and ways to