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Title: Improving the communications process: the costs and effectiveness of email compared with traditional media
Authors: Jackson, Thomas
Dawson, Ray
Wilson, Darren
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: © British Computer Society
Citation: Jackson, T., Dawson, R. and Wilson, D., 1999. Improving the communications process: the costs and effectiveness of email compared with traditional media. In: Hawkins, C., Georgiadou, E., Perivolaropoulos, L., Ross, M. and Staples, G. (eds), Fourth International Conference on Software Process Improvement Research, Education and Training. British Computer Society, INSPIRE'99, Crete, September 1999, pp 167-178.
Abstract: A cost-benefit analysis of the use of email was carried out at the Danwood Group at Lincoln in the UK. This was a pilot exercise forming part of a larger exercise to evaluate the costs and benefits of the whole IT infrastructure at the company. The times taken to read, write and carry out other functions with the email were measured for a sample of employees. The email content was also monitored to determine which emails were business related. It was found that nearly two thirds of all emails sent were non business related and the pattern of behaviour when sending and receiving these emails was quite different to that for the business emails. Overall the findings indicate that despite the fact that only one third of email use was productive, the time taken is still worthwhile compared with other, traditional communication methods. However, it was not possible to fully quantify the benefits of email over these other methods, as the data for the alternatives has not yet been collected. The study showed that further research is necessary in this respect. The paper concludes that the analysis has been a useful learning experience for the company showing the value of cost-benefit research and highlighting the difficulties involved. It has also identified the possible benefits that could be obtained by educating employees in the best practice for the use of email.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/491
ISBN: 1902505166
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers and Presentations (Computer Science)
Conference Papers (Information Science)

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