Impact of Technostress on Productivity in Indian Public Sector Banks.

AuthorNayeem, Mohammed Abdul


Work-related stress is not a new phenomenon, the ever-increasing demands at work led to many physical, mental, emotional problems resulting in poor mental health, burnout, and sometimes depression. While the research on reduction of stress at the workplace is going on for decades, on the other hand, technology introduction at the workplace has some impact on the work and the workers. Technology has been an essential part of every organization and a part of the jobs of the employees. With the advent of technology at the workplace, technology-induced stress is commonly seen in organizations. The employees have to undergo the stress of technology at the workplace and term it as the Technostress (Dragano & Lunau, 2020).

Stress has been defined as "a person's adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical demands on that person." Technostress is a word that evolved from human psychology when Craig Brod (1984), a famous clinical psychologist defined it as "a modern disease of adaptation caused by an inability to cope with the new computer technologies healthily." With the advancement in computer technology and the implementation of many sophisticated information technology tools, technology has been changing by its definition. Technostress has been defined as any negative effect on human attitudes, thoughts, behavior, and psychology that directly or indirectly results from technology (Weinert, Maier, Laumer, & Weitzel, 2019). It has been also known as technophobia and computer anxiety. It manifests itself in two distinct, but yet related ways, viz. the struggle to accept computer technology and the more specialized form of over-identification with computer technology (Tarafdar et al, 2005).

This study explores the impact of technostress on the productivity of employees in the Indian public sector banks. The effect of technostress was previously tested in the USA context but on the tech-savvy IT and related industries. First, this study discusses extant literature on technostress and its relationship with productivity and performance-related variables. Secondly, the research attempts to build a conceptual framework and to achieve its objectives by testing the formulated hypothesis based on the data collection on the perceptions of the employees related to the technostress. Thirdly, this study is to retest the impact of technostress and to validate the scale developed by the previous researchers in the Indian context using the non-IT but highly technology-implemented sector. Fourthly, the study also focuses on the methodological issues in data collection, sampling frame, and use of the data analysis tools to get the right understanding of the phenomenon.

Research Question

What are the factors responsible to influence technostress in public banks in India? And does technostress lead to lower productivity among the employees of public sector banks in India? Based on the research questions the objectives of the study were formulated. The first one is to find out the factors responsible for technostress among the employees of public sector banks in India. Second, to study the impact of technostress on the productivity levels of the banking staff in the Indian context. The other objective is also to develop a conceptual framework for conjoining all important factors of technostress and productivity together.

Literature Review

The concept of technostress, though introduced way back in 1984, has been less studied upon by the researchers. The main focus has been on job stress excluding this vital aspect. Stress is a cognitive response that individuals experience when they anticipate their inability to respond adequately to the perceived demands of a given situation, accompanied by anticipation of substantial negative consequences due to inadequate response (Tarafdar et al, 2005).

Effect of Technostress:Bichteler (2018) reported that technostress impacted a lot of areas at the workplace. Newer spaces created to expedite work and facilitate customers and staff members have received negative effects. What is considered to be the successful implementation of computerized projects turned out to be cascading as far as the libraries are concerned? The library staff reported having experienced technostress due to poorly designed workspaces. Staff also suffered fear and anxiety, and frustration issues due to the implementation of new technology. Managers play a vital role in bringing down these feelings of insecurity among the staff members by adopting new methods and address the concerns of the staff from time to time.

Technostress is a construct that was most researched in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) after being explored in the libraries. Brillhart (2004) proposed data smog (information fatigue syndrome resulting from information overload), multitasking madness (role conflict), computer hassles (technical complexity), and burnout (emotional exhaustion and withdrawal) in the electronics perspective. More research was carried out by Tarafdar et al (2007), who came up with a scale to measure the technostress. The parameters were termed as techno-overload i.e. stress due to increased workload by the use of the technology, (Ragu-Nathan et al, 2008), techno-invasion i.e. invasion of technology on private time by increased workload, techno-complexity i.e. complex ity of the technology being used, techno-insecurity i.e. job-insecurity due to the nature of technology) and techno-uncertainty i.e. technological ambiguity or information blockage (Ragu-Nathan et al, 2008). The measure of productivity was based on four items representing the construct.

Technostress is a global phenomenon where the adoption of information technology causes fears among the staff. Chen and Muthitacharoen (2016) investigated empirically the consequences of technostress in the Chinese context. The data were collected from 221 workers to test the hypotheses and it was found that there exist negative consequences of technostress beyond the confines of job-related issues that will have a greater influence on the overall job satisfaction, well being of the workers.

Progress in technology also caused in technostress. Using innovation and technostress theory and by administering questionnaires to 317 people, technostress was analyzed indirectly through innovation resistance which ultimately affected the performance of the end-users. There is strong evidence that technostress can impact the productivity and performance of workers (Kim & Lee, 2017). Ragu-Nathan, Tarafdar, Ragu-Nathan and Tu (2008) reported the phenomenon of technostress experienced by the end-user in the context of Informational Communication Technology and examined its relationship with three important variables, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intention to stay. Data collected from 608 end users revealed that technostress contributes to the reduction in job satisfaction, leading to less organizational commitment and hence intention to quit the organization. On the other hand, adopting technostress inhibitors increased job satisfaction, strong organizational commitment, and less intention to quit. Gender, age, computer literacy also played an important role in determining the relationship between technostress and these three job-related variables.

Relationship between technostress and other job-related variables: There are mixed results when it comes to technostress and other job-related variables. One such study by Wihler, Meurs, Kramer and Blickle (2015) also provided mixed results...

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