Exploring the influence of user perception of spam on managers of small manufacturing firms in North Carolina
Unsolicited bulk email received by business users has increased exponentially in volume and complexity since the introduction of email. However, the factors that influence managers to purchase spam filters have never been fully documented or identified, only assumed. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify, understand and document the concerns cited by email users that influence small business managers to implement a spam elimination solution. The problem addressed in this research was the lack of understanding and documentation of the issues that influence managers to expend time, resources, and effort to eliminate spam. This study was accomplished through a web-based survey of email users in small manufacturing firms in North Carolina. Fifty firms were selected from a list of small businesses provided by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and contacted to request permission for employee participation in the study. Representatives from four companies responded. The survey link was forwarded to each of them with the request to forward the link to internal email users. Sixty anonymous participants started the survey and 29 completed it. Results from the study indicated that influential factors in the decision to implement spam filters include the time spent deleting spam, lost productivity, and user annoyance. Few of the participants had been unable to perform their job responsibilities because of spam, however many cited the threat of viruses as a major concern. The lack of education of the users in the proper disposal and treatment of spam was evident in many of the responses. Further research needs to be done to determine how the education of users in the proper handling and disposal of spam would lessen the impact of the problem. The concerns mentioned by the survey participants all impact the decisions that managers use to justify a spam elimination solution. Increased productivity, reduction in time spent eliminating spam, and reduced frustration improve the performance of the employees and therefore the business.
Electronic mail systems;
0489: Information Technology
0723: Information science