‘Electronic mail, or e-mail for short, is a way of sending messages across a network (such as the Internet) ... It is the most widely used application of the Internet.’ (Butler 2001, p. 69)
Electronic mail has become a vital communication tool in today's working environment. This research project aims to identify the various benefits, inefficiencies and implications of e-mail use in business with an emphasis on Irish businesses. References to information overload through e-mail, increased stress levels, reduced productivity and inefficient management control are now commonplace in a substantial body of research. The absence of company guidelines, policies and social cues and a lack of e-mail etiquette (‘netiquette’) largely contribute to these inefficiencies. More and more companies in Ireland adopt e-mail as their primary form of communication. E-mail traffic will increase exponentially in relation to the number of e-mail users in the coming years and the existing inefficiencies of e-mail use will become an even bigger issue for many organisations if the existing concerns are not addressed.