Redefining technological literacy in the workplace: A qualitative study of social affordances in workplace email
This dissertation examines the social affordances of workplace email use. Through group and individual interviews of six knowledge workers in a distributed real estate firm, it explores the extent workplace writers recognize and rely on extra-textual devices (i.e., copy, blind-copy, and forward devices) and email applications (i.e., email application on a desktop computer versus the email application on a handheld mobile device) to convey socially symbolic messages.
These research findings are discussed in concert with previous research from several disciplines in order to construct a theory of social affordances, which claims socially constructed symbols embedded in specific uses of technology are a very crucial part of communicating with technology. This dissertation concludes that an understanding of social affordances in workplace email is a crucial component to technological literacy and can even contribute to career success or failure.
0489: Information Technology
0688: Business education
0703: Organizational behavior