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Jackson talks Email Comms to German Newspaper

Jackson talks at DPC on Email Preservation <read live tweets>

Global Mail - Canada: Confessions of an Inbox Obsessive <more>

Midlands Business News - Inefficient Email <more>

Inefficient email is costing companies <more> Full research paper <here>

Role of email in the distraction society - article by Damon Young <more>

Dr Jackson on New York Radio on email overload <listen> or read the article <more>

"Death by Email" - Records Management Society Conference 2009 <more>

The Oprah Magazine - "Email Tasks" Dec 08 <more>

Dr Jackson on Leicester Sound "Emails Taking Over Your Life?" interview - Mon 6th Oct <more>

View Magazine - "Email – essential office tool or costly communication?" <more>

Birmingham Post - "New ways for malicious software to land on your computer" <more>

Guardian article - "Breaking the email compulsion"  <more>

The Sydney Morning Herald article - "Email becomes a dangerous distraction" <more>

Dr Jackson on BBC Radio Essex "You Have Email" interview - Sat 12th April

Dr Jackson on BBC Breakfast - "How to stop e-mails taking over your day" <watch>

Dr Jackson appears in The Money Programme's "Email is Ruining My Life" BBC2 7th March 2008 at 19:00 <more>

E-mail is ruining my life! Article feature Tom Jackson <read>

What you had to say about email problems <read the debate>

Guardian article - "Email 'a broken business tool' as staff spend hours wading through inboxes" <read>

Staff email use is costing UK businesses millions of pounds finds Loughborough University research <more>

Dr Jackson explains how to Find Experts via email <more>


Projects 2006

The image “http://www.merlincorp.co.uk/images/business-team-1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Past and current projects undertaken by our research team

2006 to 2007 - Knowledge Sharing in the Public Sector

This project explored the role of Knowledge Management in the Public Sector Domain, specifically in the Leicestershire Constabulary. It investigated the extent to which knowledge creation, sharing and retrieving have been effected due to ever increasing reliance on Electronic Mail (email).

2006 to 2007 - An Investigation into the Effectiveness of the Capability Intranet at Rolls-Royce

This project investigates how effective the Rolls-Royce Capability Intranet is to the organisation by looking at how much time it saves the employees and how accessible it makes information in order for the workforce of Rolls-Royce to do their jobs.  This is done through a review of the past literature looking into intranets, information and decision making; case study analysis from information supplied by Rolls-Royce; and the author’s data collected through questionnaires, interviews and statistical testing.  The results showed that the Capability Intranet is an effective tool as long as the information is clearly presented and easy to locate on the system.  If this is done then employees of the company will save time in their work. This project investigates how effective the Rolls-Royce Capability Intranet is to the organisation by looking at how much time it saves the employees and how accessible it makes information in order for the workforce of Rolls-Royce to do their jobs.  This is done through a review of the past literature looking into intranets, information and decision making; case study analysis from information supplied by Rolls-Royce; and the author’s data collected through questionnaires, interviews and statistical testing.  The results showed that the Capability Intranet is an effective tool as long as the information is clearly presented and easy to locate on the system.  If this is done then employees of the company will save time in their work.

2006 to 2007 - A Chronological Investigation into the Effect That technology has had on Knowledge Sharing.

This project aims to establish if various technologies through time have impacted upon how employees share knowledge. This report investigates the benefits and drawbacks of various methods of communication in the workplace.

 

 

2006 to 2007 - The Management of Information and Knowledge sharing when two organisations merge. Using MBNA Europe as a Case Study

When two organisations conclude a deal to merge into a new corporate organisation, information and employee knowledge does not tend to be the number one priority for the organisations and therefore employees begin to fear about their futures, which results in them leaving the organisation, taking their tacit knowledge with them and therefore creating a knowledge and experience gap within the organisation. It has been documented that a majority of mergers fail because of the lack of foresight into the different cultures of the two companies and find that the companies are incompatible and therefore the merger is not a success.

Although there are many frameworks out there to help merging organisations plan effective transition stages and execute a successful merger, many organisations do not adhere to these plans and go about conducting their mergers their own way. This project will look at the merger between MBNA Europe Bank Limited and Bank of America Corporation to compare and contrast if the merging frameworks were considered for this merger and if knowledge and information management was a consideration when the transition took place.
 

2006 to 2007 - Understanding the dynamics of communication of the past, present and future within organisations

This dissertation aims to evaluate the evolution of email into its current form and its impact within organisations. Recommendations are made as to how it can be reinvented as a 21st century communication tool. Research involved questioning a sample of 79 people within UK organisations. Participants had to have worked in an organisation before email was available and be currently (or recently) employed.

The impact of email is highlighted by the outcome that over three-quarters of participants would struggle to work effectively, or could not survive, without email. A major finding of the research was that 75% of participants have received less than two hours email training. Participants also commented that as volume of incoming email increased the percentage worth reading reduced. Participants were asked to indicate their preferred communication media in a range of business situations. Face-to-face communication was favoured six times compared to email five demonstrating that body language is important when feedback is required, for example when resolving conflicts

Evidence from this research suggests that there are few organisations that planned the change process of introducing email and instead forced it on employees with little or no instruction. Organisations could benefit by reviewing their use of email to improve the effectiveness, appropriateness and efficiency of business communication. The data collected enabled a framework to be created allowing the current range of strategies adopted by users to be categorised into five groups.

The dissertation suggests that email could be reinvented as a communication tool for the 21st century by addressing: end user training, organisational email policy, the introduction of Instant Messaging and improvements to email software.
 

2006 to 2007 - The evaluation of a bespoke business dashboard compared to a dashboard built using traditional software

Everyday, companies depend on information to support major decisions which could have a positive or negative effect on the bottom line. With such pressure depending on those decisions, it is vital to discover what tools are available to assist decision makers. Are the tools available on the market capable of effectively portraying data in a form which can be easily understood? This research project investigated how effective a specialised business decision making tool is compared to a similar tool created in a generic software package. The investigation comprised of a survey and experiment in which 45 participants of varying technical ability were timed to complete a dashboard experiment. It was concluded that a specialised decision making tool would save approximately 18% of time compared to an Excel program, and 5% of time over the Access program to highlight pitfalls within a business. The effectiveness of the specialised software was consistently high with an accuracy rating over 95%.
Overall, when considering the purchase of a business decision making tool two main elements must be considered, the type of data being analysed and the technical ability of the user. This research provides a comprehensive overview of dashboard technology and determines how effective the technology is for users of limited technical ability.
The progress of the investigation had been monitored with the use of a project management website (PMW) and Gantt chart. The PMW provided a real time account of what tasks had been completed and provided milestones to aim towards. The combined use of both management tools enabled a more focused and direct approach to completing the project.
 

2006 to 2007 - How can a large organisation create a successful portal?

Corporate Portals are a relatively new solution for Organisations to solve their Knowledge Management problems. Organisations assume that the implementation of a Portal is simple and that all employees will use and accept it as a part of their working life. An increasing number of Organisations are using portals because if implemented successfully then the intangible benefits are substantial to any Organisation.  The problem with portals is that the needs of employees are constantly changing and so the content and features of a portal need to change to fit in with these. This project reviewed the changing needs of employees within Large Organisations and what they believed a successful portal should be, compared to their existing portal. The results were focussed around one large organisation; Unilever, the employees from four departments were interviewed to provide a representative sample of the whole organisation. The results from the interviews and past research enabled a comprehensive set of guidelines to create a successful portal. These guidelines were then reviewed by Unilever and an additional large organisation to prove they would be successful if implemented within any large organisation.

2006 to 2007 - How much of an impact has Communication and Technology had on our work-life balance given the ever increasing developments that blur the boundaries between our work and private lives.

In this research project, the author explores how technology affects work life balance due to the new craze of flexible working.  Work-life balance is a particularly interesting topic which is heavily under discussion in many large organisations.  Many studies have shown that graduates are now seeking to find companies who offer flexible working as they see it as a major bonus.  The author argues that although flexible working can seem beneficiary, it can end up taking over your free time and affecting those who are closest.  Is communication and technology the reason work-life balance is getting worse?  This is what the author aims to answer.  As technology develops, the boundaries between our work and personal lives blur into one.

A questionnaire was given to a sample of Microsoft employees based in the UK.  The results illustrated that all employees worked on average 49.8 hours a week and there is a clear relationship between the employees who need technology to manage their lives and those who believe technology causes conflict in their personal lives.

It is not an easy problem to rectify because it is largely dependant on the individual to control their usage with the devices.  Because many organisations are adapting to the wants and needs of perspective employees by adopting a more flexible working environment, people feel obliged to change with the times.

The author suggests guidelines for organisations who are contemplating creating a more flexible organisation to help the employees control their work-life balance efficiently.

 

2006 to 2007 - The Issues Surrounding the Development and Use of a Monitoring Application for Newham Corporate Council ICT

The author designed and developed an electronic monitoring application on DPS placement at Newham Council Corporate ICT in 2006. The main purpose of the system was to record PC activity to help identify inactive employees. Its release coincided with a Report from the Information Commissioner’s Office detailing how we are increasingly evolving into a ‘Surveillance Society’. (Surveillance Studies Networks 2006).
 

The IC’s report omits analysis of monitoring in the work place, which leaves room to ponder the implications of the system’s introduction in a society already heavily under surveillance. This report uses Newham ICT as a case study, with focus on privacy and worker relationships and examines UK legislation. The system developed will also be evaluated in its success.
 

Staff opinions of the system were generated through use of a questionnaire, whilst management were quizzed in a focus-group interview. Relationships between stress, system acceptance and office protocol are analysed. Qualitative data from the management interview reveals the extent to which the system has fulfilled its goals. Organisations must make a careful decision about whether to install a monitoring system, and not to be simply swept up in the current trend for doing so. There is no clear-cut benefit to be gained, and all aspects of the system need to be tuned to monitor in the right way so as to be effective in its task. The system at Newham was found to have the potential to increase productivity, and has come at little cost.