Henley Forum - Jane McKenzie

Professor Jane McKenzie, Professor of Management and Learning, Henley Forum

Session title: Technostress

Jane and Johnny Jensen (Head of Contract Management, Nordea Bank and Henley DBA Researcher) will also share an interim report on this Henley Forum research project . Work stress has long been seen as a factor undermining organisational productivity and increasing corporate health costs. Increasingly organisations are becoming concerned about the impact of Technostress; the specific stress arising from the increasingly pervasive demands of mobile technology usage. Most ideas about user impact are anecdotal. There has been little serious investigation about how people perceive it is affecting their performance at work. Maintaining managerial performance is critical to organisational success, yet the role of managers in modern corporate life is already stressful. Additional stress arising from the continuous demands of mobile technology inevitably adds this, particularly when many managers can now be reached anywhere and anytime and often feel obliged to be constantly connected. In addition, they experience information overload as they try to use technology to multitask, and are constantly disrupted by multiple connected devices. For some, the myriad of technology may sometimes feel almost malicious, creating insecurities about their own capabilities and fear of losing their jobs to professionals with a better understanding of the new mobile technology. All these factors add to the tension and stress, divert managerial focus and energy away from performance, which in turn reduces quality, innovation, and overall productivity. The purpose of this research is to identify some of the characteristics of mobile technology that create technostress and understand whether it is impacting individual manager’s performance.

Jane has been active within the Henley Forum for Organisational Learning and Knowledge Strategies since 2000, contributing to at least one research project per year. She was Director of the Forum between 2009 and 2016. If you had to describe her interests in one sentence it would be "How connections and contradictions affect knowledge work and learning capacity in organisational life". This means she is interested in how organisations develop and how decision makers successfully handle the dilemmas and contradictions that arise in relationships as a result of uncertainty and ambiguity.