Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change
Information and Communication Technologies; Technostress; Personality Traits; Conscientiousness; Extroversion; Self-Esteem;
Purpose: The authors investigated how personality traits are associated with workplace technostress (perception of stressors related to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).Design/methodology/approach : The authors collected 95 self-rated and 336 observer-rated questionnaires using the personality audit and a shortened version of the technostress scale. To analyze relationships between personality dimensions and technostress, the authors applied partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).Findings : This study shows that in line with previous studies, self-esteem is negatively related to levels of technostress. Contrary to our expectations, conscientiousness is positively related to technostress. Finally, the gap between a person's self-ratings and observer ratings in all personality dimensions is positively associated with technostress.Practical implications: The authors showed that the experience of technostress varies significantly amongst individuals. By taking personality differences into account when allocating responsibilities and creating guidelines for ICT use at work, technostress could be addressed. Instead of setting organization-wide norms for availability and use, the authors suggest it would be more effective to acknowledge individual needs and preferences.Originality/value: This study contributes to current technostress research by further examining antecedents and by focusing on the role of personality. In addition, the authors examined how differences in “self” and “observer” ratings of personality characteristics may point to variations in the way individuals experience technostress. The authors outlined concrete best practice guidelines for ICTs in organizations that take interindividual differences into account.