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Technostress in University Lecturers: An Exploratory Study Using the Job Demands-Resources Theory

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Linda Moore
Publication date18/01/2024
Number of pages244
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


University lecturers are expected to engage with a range of workplace information and computing technologies (ICTs) to fulfil teaching, learning, assessment, administrative and research responsibilities. This cross-sectional, survey-based, study addresses the need highlighted in recent literature for the investigation of the effects of technostress on university lecturers. Technostress arises when the individual finds it challenging to manage workplace ICT-related demands, leading to negative effects for both the individual worker and their employer organisation. Framed within the Job Demands-Resources Theory, the study described here explored ICT-associated technostress as a job demand in higher education workplaces, as experienced by a sample of Irish university lecturers (N=77). The relationship between technostress creators and lecturer well-being and work performance was explored. The potential moderating effect of technostress inhibitors in mitigating against these potential negative effects of technostress was also examined.

Quantitative analysis findings suggest that Irish university lecturers experience the following technostress creators: techno-overload, techno-invasion, techno-complexity and techno-insecurity. No significant participant age, gender, or education level-related differences in these scores were identified. Hypothesis testing showed that techno-overload and techno-complexity negatively predict work performance, and positively predict work-related burnout, which was also shown to be positively predicted by techno-invasion. Work-related burnout negatively predicted work performance, but only mediated the relationship between techno-invasion and work performance. Analysis of the mitigating role of technostress inhibitors delivered mixed results, with some findings suggesting that technostress inhibitors potentially magnify, instead of reducing, the negative effects of technostress creators. These quantitative findings were supported by participant narrative contributions about the use of ICTs in higher education workplaces. These narratives supported the discussion of the quantitative analysis results, while also informing recommendations for academic managers regarding organisational measures that can be adopted to identify, and mitigate against, the negative effects of technostress for both university lecturers and their employer universities.