Perception and Use of E-mail: A Case Study in Universiti Utara Malaysia

Shafinah Farvin Packeer Mohamed, Ku Ruhana Ku-Mahamud, Razamin Ramli, Kamarudin Abdullah


E-mail has grown out to become as one of the most successful and frequently used computer applications since it was invented. It can be used to communicate faster, easier, and at a lower cost with everyone all over the world. Besides providing flexibility and improving the quality of communication, researchers acknowledged that there are many problems faced by e-mail users, namely repeating emails, spam e-mails, huge size attachment files, and insufficient storage size. A case study was conducted to investigate on Universiti Utara Malaysia staff’s perception and use of e-mail in order to improve the e-mail service provided to them. This paper discusses the findings from the study, which involves 958 staff. There were five phases involved in this study, which are instrument design, sampling, pilot study, data collection for real survey, and analysis. Self-administered questionnaires were used to gather the data, while descriptive statistical analysis was used for data analysis. The findings of the study reveal that UUM staff appreciate the e-mail service. However, they faced problems such as limited storage size and overwhelming number of e-mails. They believed that the UUM e-mail system is being abused as observed from the repeating advertisements and news sent to them. The output of this study can be used as a guideline by the UUM management in revising its e-mail policy so as to improve the quality of its e-mail service.


e-mail service; Universiti Utara Malaysia; User perception;

Full Text:



T. V. Vleck, “The history of electronic mail”, Retrieved from (2001).

G. Tang, J. Pei, & W. S. Luk, “Email mining: tasks, common techniques, and tools”. Knowledge and Information Systems, 41(1), 1-31. (2014).

C. Grevet, D. Choi, D. Kumar, and E. Gilbert. “Overload is overloaded: email in the age of Gmail,” in Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2014), pp.793-802.

S. Whittaker. “Supporting collaborative task management in e-mail,” in Human Computer Interaction, 20(1-2), 49-88 (2005).

T. Jackson, R. Dawson, and D. Wilson, “The Cost of Email Interruption,” Journal of Systems & Information Technology, vol. 5, no. 1, 2001, pp. 81-92.

Y. R. Bujang, & H. Hussin. Should we be concerned with spam emails? A look at its impacts and implications. In Information and Communication Technology for the Muslim World (ICT4M), 2013 5th International Conference on (pp. 1-6). IEEE. (2013).

InternetLiveStats (2017). Retreived from

M. Raad, N.M. Yeassen, G.M. Alam, B.B. Zaidan, and A.A. Zaidan, “Impact of spam advertisement through email: A study to assess the influence of the anti-spam on the email marketing.,” African Journal of Business Management, vol. 4, no. 11, 2010, pp. 2362-2367.

The Radicati Group (February 2017). Email Statistics Report, 2017-2021. Retrieved on March 2, 2017 from

The Radicati Group. (2015).

M. Chui, J. Manyika, J. Bughin, R. Dobbs, C. Roxburgh, and M. Westergren. “The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies McKinsey Global Institute”. Retrieved from (2012).

H. Alkahtani, R. Dawson, and R. Lock. “Communication and effective email usage in Saudi Arabia,” in BCS Software Quality Management Conference. Retrieved from (2015).

K. Reinke, and T. Chamorro-Premuzic, “When email use gets out of control: Understanding the relationship between personality and email overload and their impact on burnout and work engagement,” Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 502-509 (2014).

S. Whittaker, T. Matthews, J. Cerruti, H. Badenes, and J. Tang. “Am I wasting my time organizing email?: a study of email refinding,” in SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2011), pp. 3449-3458.

R. Boardman and M. A. Sasse, “Stuff goes into the computer and doesn't come out: a cross-tool study of personal information management,” in Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2004), pp. 583-590.

L. A. Dabbish, & R. E. Kraut. Email overload at work: an analysis of factors associated with email strain. In Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 431-440). ACM, (2006)

S. K. Tuteja, “A survey on classification algorithms for email spam filtering,” International Journal of Engineering Science, 6(5), 5937-5940 (2016).

S. R. Barley, D. E Meyerson, & S. Grodal, (2011). E-mail as a source and symbol of stress. Organization Science, 22(4), 887-906.

G. Mark, S. Voida, & A. Cardello. A pace not dictated by electrons: an empirical study of work without email. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 555-564). ACM. (2012)

B. Hogan, & D. Fisher. A scale for measuring email overload. Microsoft Research, 7(9). (2006)

S. Whittaker, & C. Sidner. Email overload: exploring personal information management of email. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 276-283). ACM. (1996)

J. Gersch, D. Massey, & S. Rose. DANE Trusted Email for Supply Chain Management. In Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. (2017)

G. Mark, S. T. Iqbal, M. Czerwinski, P. Johns, A. Sano, & Y. Lutchyn, . Email duration, batching and self-interruption: Patterns of email use on productivity and stress. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1717-1728). ACM. (2016)

S. A. S. Al-Mazrouei, N. Dahalan, & M. H. Faiz. The Impact of Email Usage on Job Satisfaction. Researchers World, 6(3), 32. (2015).

A. Al Mahmud, & J. B. Martens. Social networking through email: studying email usage patterns of persons with aphasia. Aphasiology, 30(2-3), 186-210. (2016).

K. Clouse, S. R. Schwartz, A. R. Van, J. Bassett, S. H. Vermund, & A. E. Pettifor. High mobile phone ownership, but low Internet and email usage among pregnant, HIV-infected women attending antenatal care in Johannesburg. Journal of telemedicine and telecare, 1357633X14566569. (2015).

S. Firestone. The Relationship Between Leadership Style and Email Usage Among Naval Leaders. NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY. (2014).

D. Derks, & A. B. Bakker. The impact of e-mail communication on organizational life. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 4(1). (2015).

H. Kim, G. J. Kim, H. W. Park, & R. E. Rice. Configurations of relationships in different media: FtF, email, instant messenger, mobile phone, and SMS. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1183-1207. (2007).

J. Granat, & K. Stanoevska-Slabeva. Impact of Mobile E-Mail in Corporate Environment. In ECIS (pp. 322-333). (2007).

M. A. Mazmanian, W. J. Orlikowski, & J. Yates. Crackberries: The social implications of ubiquitous wireless e-mail devices. In Designing ubiquitous information environments: Socio-technical issues and challenges (pp. 337-343). Springer US. (2005).

D. K. Allen, & M. Shoard. Spreading the load: Mobile information and communications technologies and their effect on information overload. Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, 10(2), n2. (2005).

A B. M. Shah,M. Mcgrath, & M. Keating. Email Usage Among Youth Staff in Malaysian Public and Private Universities. Malaysian Journal of Youth Studies, 13, 117-140. (2015).

U. Sekaran, and R. Bougie. Research methods for business (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2010).

D. R. Cooper, & P. S. Schindler. Business research methods (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York, 2011).

L. Luo. “Text a librarian: a look from the user perspective,” Reference Services Review, 42(1), 34 – 51 (2014).

S. B. T. Kumar, and G. T. Kumar. “Perception and usage of e-resources and the Internet by Indian academics,” The Electronic Library, 28 (1), 137 – 156 (2010).

R. V. Krejcie, & D. W. Morgan . Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement. (1970).

E. Teijlingen, & V. Hundley. The importance of pilot studies, Social research update, 2001.

Shafinah Farvin Packeer Mohamed, Ku-Ruhana Ku Mahamud, Razamin Ramli, Kamarudin Abdullah. (2017) proceedings ICAST

A. N. Oppenheim. Questionnaire design, interviewing and attitude measurement. London: Pinter Publishers. (1992).

D. W. Birchall, & G. Giambona. The impact of ICT on the work patterns of managers and their Organisations. EuroMed Journal of Business, 3(3), 244 – 262. doi:10.1108/14502190810906428. (2008).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

ISSN: 2180-1843

eISSN: 2289-8131