Life interrupted, but performance improved: Rethinking the influence of technology-mediated interruptions at work and personal life




Conservation of Resources Theory, Mobile Technology, Interruptions, Conflicts, Individual Performance


Purpose: This paper aims to analyze the effects of the technology-mediated interruptions on the conflicts and the performance of individuals during their work and non-work time.

Theoretical framework: This work is based on the Conservation of Resources Theory, focusing on conflict and quality of life in the digital age.

Design/methodology/approach: To evaluate the influence of technology interruptions on conflicts and performance, we applied a survey to management and accounting professionals and obtained 399 valid questionnaires. We analyzed the data through Partial Least Squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).

Findings: The data analysis demonstrates that interruptions – as expected – contribute to increasing conflicts both at work and at non-work. However, contrary to previous research, interruptions can also increase performance in both instances.

Research, Practical & Social implications: The proposed approach has a practical value for teachers and students of human-computer interaction and IT practitioners in any other professional environment where the technology represents a channel between personal and professional life.

Originality/value: This research measured and analyzed the effects of technology-mediated interruptions on conflict and individual performance in Brazil. The results showed that technology-mediated interruptions are related to the quality of life and leisure time, showing that conflicts due to technology are not a buzzword. Also, research findings present a new research path as interruptions that positively influence the individual’s performance are not fully understood.


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Author Biographies

Antonio Carlos Gastaud Maçada, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul

Professor Maçada received his MSc and Ph.D. in management information systems in 1993 and 2001 from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Currently, He is currently a full professor at the Department of Administrative Sciences at the Business School at UFRGS. Professor Maçada was a visiting professor at Mays Business School, Texas A&M, the USA, from 2011 to 2012 and at Antwerp University, Belgium, in 2011. He was the President Director of the Brazilian Academy of Management (ANPAD) from 2018 to 2020. Currently, he is a member of academic societies such as AIS and ANPAD. His research interests are focused on information technology, IT impact, IT investments and IT governance, information governance and quality, IS behavior, workaround, and shadow IT, and logistics operations management.

José Carlos da Silva Freitas Junior, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Rio Grande do Sul

Professor Freitas Jr. received his Ph.D. in administration from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), with a period as a visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University (Canada). He received his MSc in administration from UNISINOS and MSc in Military Operations from the Army Officers School. He got the Mentorship training from Mentor School, 2020. Professor Freitas Jr. has held management positions in public agencies and has experience of over twenty years with leadership development. Currently, he is an assistant professor at UNISINOS in the Post Graduate Program in Management and Business. He is co-leader of the research group in Leadership and People Management. His topics of interest are leadership, people management, digital capabilities, and digital transformation.

Rafael Alfonso Brinkhues, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul

Professor Brinkhues received his Ph.D. in Administration from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Currently, he is professor at Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio Grande do Sul. Professor Brinkhues is revisor of several journals like: Faces - Revista de Administração (Belo Horizonte), Pretexto (Belo Horizonte), READ - Revista Eletrônica de Administração (Porto Alegre), Revista Gestão e Tecnologia, Revista Alcance, Estudios Gerenciales, and BASE. His topics of interest are information management and digital capabilities.

Sílvio de Vasconcellos, ESPM - Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, São Paulo

Professor de Vasconcellos is a full professor in international strategy and innovation in the Graduate Program of Administration at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM). He holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree from UNISINOS, with a period as a visiting fellow at Florida International University (USA). He is the international business editor of Revista BASE. His topics of interest include entrepreneurship, organizational creativity, digital capabilities, path dependence, international business, and innovation. Currently, he is a member of societies such as the Academy of International Business (AIB), European International Business Academy (EIBA), and Brazilian Academy of Management (ANPAD). His articles have been published in magazines such as International Business Review (IBR), European Journal of International Management (EJIM), Global Strategy Journal (GSJ), and International Journal of Wine Research (IJWR).


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How to Cite

Maçada, A. C. G., Freitas Junior, J. C. da S. ., Brinkhues, R. A. ., & de Vasconcellos, S. (2021). Life interrupted, but performance improved: Rethinking the influence of technology-mediated interruptions at work and personal life. International Journal of Professional Business Review, 7(1), e0279.