Seth Okyere-Dankwa, Ebenezer Komla Gavua & Francis Effirim Botchey
An email system is a critical business tool. However, as electronic business activity increases, ad-hoc email implementation, prolonged management neglect and user abuse of email systems have generated negative effects. Anticipating, managing and preventing these negative effects has become increasingly important as organizations struggle to derive benefits from these systems. Many organizations try to control the negative effects of email through a combination of policies and electronic monitoring. However, monitoring can be contentious and policies are often inadequate. This paper presents the results of a multiple case study investigation of email system monitoring and control in four organizations. The study highlights the need to formulate a coordinated and comprehensive response consisting of technical, formal and informal controls. The study reveals the effectiveness of email management committees, training, policies, and sustained awareness when combined with email monitoring. The paper concludes by identifying key factors for effectively monitoring and controlling email usage.