The influence of task interruption on individual decision making: An information overload perspective

Cheri Speier, Joseph S. Valacich, Iris Vessey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

343 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interruptions are a common aspect of the work environment of most organizations. Yet little is known about how interruptions and their characteristics, such as frequency of occurrence, influence decision-making performance of individuals. Consequently, this paper reports the results of two experiments investigating the influence of interruptions on individual decision making. Interruptions were found to improve decision-making performance on simple tasks and to lower performance on complex tasks. For complex tasks, the frequency of interruptions and the dissimilarity of content between the primary and interruption tasks was found to exacerbate this effect. The implications of these results for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-360
Number of pages24
JournalDecision Sciences
Volume30
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • And interruptions
  • Decision making
  • Information overload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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