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Literature Review for Email Overload

Over the last several months I have been pouring over as many different research articles as I could in order to get a handle of what has already been done, discovered, and discussed in relation to information overload and email overload. Luckily, some fantastic researchers both in academia and industry have been busy studying out the problem to a great extent.

I want to share at least some of the best snippets I have found, and especially the particular papers that I have found helpful. I’m not exactly sure how I want to disseminate this information, other than I know that I want it out there, so I’m going to start with a very simple PDF file and text bibliography. I may expand it in the future if I can find a better way to communicate it. For now, I hope that others looking for good, solid research will be able to use this as a good resource for information and email overload. Oh, and for now it also includes my personal notes and thoughts, so you can just ignore that column if you want. 🙂

Email Overload Literature Review (PDF)


Ayyagari, R., Grover, V., & Purvis, R. (2011). TECHNOSTRESS: TECHNOLOGICAL ANTECEDENTS AND IMPLICATIONS. MIS Quarterly, 35(4), 831-858. Retrieved from

Bellotti, V., Ducheneaut, N., & Howard, M. (2005). Quality versus quantity: E-mail-centric task management and its relation with overload. Human-Computer Interaction, 20, 89-138. Retrieved from

Dabbish, L. A., & Kraut, R. E. (2006). Email overload at work: An analysis of factors associated with email strain. CSCW ’06 Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 431-440). Banff, Alberta, Canada. Retrieved from

Ducheneaut, N., & Watts, L. A. (2005). In search of coherence: a review of e-mail research. Human-Computer Interaction, 20, 11-48. Retrieved from

Fisher, D., Brush, A., Gleave, E., & Smith, M. A. (2006). Revisiting Whittaker & Sidner’s “Email Overload” ten years later. CSCW ’06 Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 309-312). Banff, Alberta, Canada. Retrieved from

Gupta, A., Sharda, R., & Greve, R. a. (2010). You’ve got email! Does it really matter to process emails now or later? Information Systems Frontiers, 13(5), 637-653. doi:10.1007/s10796-010-9242-4

Gupta, A., Sharda, R., Ducheneaut, N., Zhao, J. L., & Weber, R. (2006). E-mail Management: A Techno-Managerial Research Perspective. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 17, 941-961.

Hemp, P. (2009). Death by information overload. Harvard Business Review, 87(9), 83–89. Harvard Business School Publication Corp. Retrieved from

Hogan, B., & Fisher, D. (2006). A scale for measuring email overload. Microsoft Research, 7-9. Retrieved from

Iqbal, S. T., & Horvitz, E. (2007). Disruption and recovery of computing tasks: field study, analysis, and directions. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 677–686). ACM. Retrieved from

Paul, S., & Nazareth, D. L. (2010). Input information complexity, perceived time pressure, and information processing in GSS-based work groups: An experimental investigation using a decision schema to alleviate information overload conditions. Decision Support Systems, 49(1), 31-40. Elsevier B.V. doi:10.1016/j.dss.2009.12.007

Tyler, J. R., & Tang, J. C. (2003). When can I expect an email response? A study of rhythms in email usage. Proceedings of the eighth conference on European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 239–258). Kluwer Academic Publishers. Retrieved from

Wattenberg, M., Rohall, S. L., Gruen, D., & Kerr, B. (2005). E-mail research: targeting the enterprise. Human-Computer Interaction, 20(1), 139–162. L. Erlbaum Associates Inc. Retrieved from

Whittaker, S. (2005). Supporting collaborative task management in e-mail. Human-Computer Interaction, 20(1), 49–88. L. Erlbaum Associates Inc. Retrieved from

Published inEmail Research


  1. Great work Joshua, thank you very much for posting this. I hope you don’t mind but I am going to share this with my colleagues at Unified Inbox

    We are working to build a solution not just for email overload but to manage all digital communication (social media, such as Twitter, Facebook etc). Please give us a trial and let me know what you think, hopefully with your help we can come up with a solution to overcoming Email Overload.

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