Communications of the IIMA


Electronic mail (e-mail) is one of the dominant IT applications used by knowledge workers and managers. Its key functionality remains the same despite being used for much more than simple messaging: document sharing and archiving for example. At the same time, e-mail is one of the main sources of information overload, which threatens the efficiency, effectiveness and health of knowledge workers. In this paper we address this problem by taking a human-driven and collaborative perspective going beyond traditional Business Process Management: we apply Human Interaction Management (HIM) concepts in constructing a conceptual model for the processing of e-mails. We subsequently use the model to build an exploratory prototype of an add-in for a popular e-mail client hence making the model more tangible and understandable. The prototype shows the implementability of the model and can serve to gain more feedback on its validity, and inspire new ideas about its other uses, such as linking e-mail to collaborative workspaces.