Follow Up on E-mail’s Impact on Workplace Relationships

I heard from several folks in response to my request for formal research on e-mail’s impact in the workplace.

A special thanks to Vanderbilt professor David Owens and Brad Bellaver for sharing several academic research papers involving the use of electronic media.  Brad also recommended Melcrum Publishing as a resource.

From management’s perspective, e-mail is still an evolving medium – especially relative to the traditional communications media many of us grew up with – and we’re still learning as we go.

But as my friend Chris Bonney put it, using e-mail as a substitute for personal interaction – particularly when distance or expediency is not an issue – seems to be “a recipe for lousy morale and lost opportunity.”

Too bad there are managers out there who don’t know how else to cook.


  • Sybil April 20, 2006 Reply

    I agree that leaders have the communications and interpersonal skills to facilitate effective work relationships. The issue is with people who lack these skills and/or don’t know how to effectively get their message across in the workplace.

  • Ellen Webern April 20, 2006 Reply

    Leaders can help to restore the healthy networks and interactions of a group. I was thinking how great leaders will encourage the development of “interpersonal intelligence” in their teams and that alone will begin to create a new and vibrant kind of relationships. We observe it taking place daily in the best circles, and is usually led, lauched or motivated by a team of one:-) and then others jump in…What do you think?

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