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MBA Dissertation:An Investigation of the Relationship between Use of Smartphones and Impact on Productivity of Young Professionals in Mauritius

Mauritius has seen the rapid adoption of smartphones both for personal use and for work purposes. Consequently, it was very important to find out how such smartphone usage is influencing the world of business and work in Mauritius. The objective of this research is to explore the relationship between smartphone usage and employee productivity among young professionals in Mauritius.

This research discussed whether young Mauritian professionals who used their smartphone for work saw this device as a mobile office, which might successfully replace their personal computer, laptop and office environment. Secondly, the research aimed to show whether Mauritian professionals felt that their smartphone helped them to improve their productivity. Thirdly, the research explored any negative repercussions that smartphone usage brought to these professionals.

MBA Dissertation:An Investigation of the Relationship between Use of Smartphones and Impact on Productivity of Young Professionals in Mauritius

Mauritius has seen the rapid adoption of smartphones both for personal use and for work purposes. Consequently, it was very important to find out how such smartphone usage is influencing the world of business and work in Mauritius. The objective of this research is to explore the relationship between smartphone usage and employee productivity among young professionals in Mauritius.

This research discussed whether young Mauritian professionals who used their smartphone for work saw this device as a mobile office, which might successfully replace their personal computer, laptop and office environment. Secondly, the research aimed to show whether Mauritian professionals felt that their smartphone helped them to improve their productivity. Thirdly, the research explored any negative repercussions that smartphone usage brought to these professionals.

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VChangea MBA Dissertation_2012_Relationship between Use of Smartphones and Impact on Productivity in Mauritius

  1. 1. Management College of Southern Africa An Investigation of the Relationship between Use of Smartphones and Impact on Productivity of Young Professionals in Mauritius Vanishtabye Changea MBA 2012
  2. 2. An Investigation of the Relationship between Use of Smartphones and Impact on Productivity of Young Professionals in Mauritius By Vanishtabye Changea Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Business Administration in the Department of Business Studies Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) Supervisor: Mr Menon Ramasawmy 2012 i
  3. 3. DECLARATION I, Vanishta Changea, do hereby declare that this dissertation is the result of my investigation and research and that this has not been submitted in part or full for any degree or for any other degree to any other University. _______________________ ___________________ V.Changea Date ii 07/09/2012
  4. 4. DEDICATIONS I dedicate this research to my parents, late Mr and Mrs Baliram Changea. Their life is a constant source of inspiration and courage - a priceless legacy. iii
  5. 5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This MBA programme has been a very enriching experience. It was also a long and tedious journey and required relentless efforts to cross the finish line. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to God, my family, especially my brother Vijay, my sisters, Vimla and Nishta, my relatives, friends and every other single person, for their support throughout this whole endeavour. I would also like to thank my supervisor, Mr Menon Ramasawmy, for his precious advice and guidance, during this research exercise. Special thanks to the respondents of the survey, carried out for this research. I have also appreciated the resourcefulness of the Mancosa administration team. iv
  6. 6. ABSTRACT Mauritius has seen the rapid adoption of smartphones both for personal use and for work purposes. Consequently, it was very important to find out how such smartphone usage is influencing the world of business and work in Mauritius. The objective of this research is to explore the relationship between smartphone usage and employee productivity among young professionals in Mauritius. This research discussed whether young Mauritian professionals who used their smartphone for work saw this device as a mobile office, which might successfully replace their personal computer, laptop and office environment. Secondly, the research aimed to show whether Mauritian professionals felt that their smartphone helped them to improve their productivity. Thirdly, the research explored any negative repercussions that smartphone usage brought to these professionals. The primary research consisted of conducting a survey, on a sample, of 100 young working professionals in Mauritius aged between 18 and 35, obtained through quantitative approach and probability. The primary research results led to general conclusions on smartphone professional usage. It was found that the smartphone was increasingly being perceived and adopted as a mobile office by mobile workers in Mauritius. Moreover, these professionals acknowledged that such smartphone usage helped in increasing their work productivity. Indeed, the big majority of these smartphone users claimed that their smartphones allowed them to attend to work emergencies promptly, and be aware of any event occurring in their work environment. The users could access any information, from anywhere at any time. Thus, smartphone usage allowed them to provide better customer service, carry out their job more efficiently, use their idle time more effectively and finally, plan their tasks better. However, smartphone usage took its toll on many users, who used the smartphone excessively by continuing to work after regular office hours. This gave rise to a worrying level of imbalance between work and personal life among many v
  7. 7. professionals. A certain level of addiction to the device was also detected. Many users confessed that they developed an anxiety problem, triggering fear to miss important emails or calls. In addition, a large percentage of professionals also recognised that they rushed to answer any emails on their smartphone. Many admitted that smartphone usage for work became the cause of growing stress in their lives. The implications of such negative repercussions of smartphone usage were work imbalance, which might negatively affect family life, stress and eventually health problems. All the above could have an adverse impact on productivity. To counteract these negative effects of smartphone usage for work, this research came up with a few recommendations. These recommendations included company policies, security policies and technologies to clarify regulations around smartphone usage to make smartphone usage safe for employees, employers and customers. Organisations should also invest in customised mobile applications and effective smartphone strategies to better cater for their organisational needs. These recommendations aimed at improving productivity and competitiveness of the organisation. vi
  8. 8. TABLE OF CONTENTS Content Page No TITLE PAGE I DECLARATION II DEDICATIONS III ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS IV ABSTRACT V TABLE OF CONTENTS VII LIST OF TABLES XI LIST OF FIGURES XII LIST OF ACRONYMS XIII CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction....................................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Background to the Problem............................................................................................... 2 1.3 Problem Statement ............................................................................................................ 4 1.4 Aim of the Study............................................................................................................... 4 1.5 Objectives of the Study..................................................................................................... 4 1.6 Research Questions........................................................................................................... 5 1.7 Significance of the Study.................................................................................................. 5 1.8 Format of the Study........................................................................................................... 6 1.9 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 7 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction....................................................................................................................... 8 2.2 The Smartphone ................................................................................................................ 8 2.3 The Mobile Industry in Mauritius..................................................................................... 9 2.4 The Smartphone User Experience in Mauritius.............................................................. 11 vii
  9. 9. 2.5 The Smartphone as an Extension of the Office............................................................... 12 2.6 The Impact of Smartphone Usage on Productivity......................................................... 16 2.7 The Repercussions of Uninterrupted Connection to the Office on Employees .............. 26 2.8 Potential Improvements to Smartphone Usage............................................................... 30 2.9 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................... 36 CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction..................................................................................................................... 37 3.2 Rationale for the Research Methodology........................................................................ 37 3.3 The Research Philosophy................................................................................................ 38 3.4 Research Approaches...................................................................................................... 39 3.5 Research Design.............................................................................................................. 39 3.6 Research Strategies ......................................................................................................... 40 3.7 Target Population............................................................................................................ 41 3.8 Sampling ......................................................................................................................... 41 3.9 The Research Instrument................................................................................................. 44 3.10 Questionnaire Construction............................................................................................. 45 3.11 Pilot Study....................................................................................................................... 48 3.12 Administration of Questionnaires ................................................................................... 49 3.13 Data Analysis .................................................................................................................. 50 3.14 Validity and Reliability................................................................................................... 51 3.15 Limitations of the Study.................................................................................................. 54 3.16 Elimination of Bias ......................................................................................................... 54 3.17 Ethical Considerations .................................................................................................... 54 3.18 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................... 56 viii
  10. 10. CHAPTER FOUR: STATEMENT OF RESULTS, DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION 4.1 Introduction..................................................................................................................... 57 4.2 Response Rate................................................................................................................. 57 4.3 Presentation of Survey Results ....................................................................................... 58 4.4 Further Analysis of Survey Results ................................................................................ 99 4.5 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 107 CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 Introduction................................................................................................................... 109 5.2 Findings from the Literature Review............................................................................ 109 5.3 Findings from the Primary Research............................................................................. 112 5.4 Conclusions................................................................................................................... 114 5.5 Recommendations......................................................................................................... 116 5.6 Further Research ........................................................................................................... 127 5.7 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 127 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................... 131 APPENDICES ..................................................................................................................... 150 Appendix A: Covering Letter ............................................................................................... 149 Appendix B: Questionnaire – Online Version ...................................................................... 151 Appendix C: Questionnaire – Printed Version...................................................................... 152 Appendix D: Cronbach’s Alpha, Item-Total Statistics ......................................................... 155 Appendix E: Survey Results Tables...................................................................................... 156 Appendix F: Data Requirements Table 1.............................................................................. 162 ix
  11. 11. Appendix G: Data Requirements Table 2............................................................................. 163 Appendix H: Data Requirements Table 3............................................................................. 164 Appendix I: Data Requirements Table 4............................................................................... 165 Appendix J: Data Requirements Table 5 .............................................................................. 167 Appendix K: Questionnaire Responses................................................................................. 168 x
  12. 12. LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1: Questionnaire......................................................................................................... 47 Table 3.2: Pilot Test Feedback................................................................................................ 49 Table 3.3: Cronbach’s Alpha, Reliability Statistics................................................................ 53 Table 4.1: Connectivity * Gender Crosstabulation................................................................. 64 Table 4.2: Age * Applications Cross tabulation ..................................................................... 65 Table 4.3: Gender * Mobile office Cross tabulation............................................................... 69 Table 4.4: Phone calls * Mobile office Cross tabulation ........................................................ 71 Table 4.5: Phone calls * Applications Cross tabulation.......................................................... 72 Table 4.6: Phone calls * Work exigencies Cross tabulation................................................... 74 Table 4.7: Age * Updated of the changes Cross tabulation.................................................... 77 Table 4.8: Gender * Information Cross tabulation.................................................................. 79 Table 4.9: Update of Changes * Idle time Cross tabulation ................................................... 84 Table 4.10: Age * Work-life balance Crosstab....................................................................... 87 Table 4.11: Urgent matters * Responding to office emails Cross tabulation.......................... 89 Table 4.12: Gender * Responding to office emails Cross tabulation...................................... 90 Table 4.13: Changes * Responding to office emails Cross tabulation.................................... 90 Table 4.14: Changes * fear to miss important calls or emails Cross tabulation ..................... 92 Table 4.15: Changes * Switching off the smartphone Cross tabulation ................................. 94 Table 4.16: Update of the changes * Responding hastily to emails Cross tabulation ............ 96 Table 4.17: Availability to customers * Work stress level Cross tabulation .......................... 98 Table 4.18: Mobile office and Connectivity Crosstab .......................................................... 100 Table 4.19: Mobile office and Connectivity Chi-Square Tests............................................. 100 Table 4.20: Mobile office and Connectivity Symmetric Measures ...................................... 101 Table 4.21: Work exigencies * Work-life balance Cross tabulation .................................... 102 Table 4.22: Work exigencies * Work-life balance Chi-Square Tests................................... 103 Table 4.23: Work exigencies * Work-life balance Symmetric Measures............................. 104 Table 4.24: Update of the changes * Work stress level Cross tabulation............................. 105 Table 4.25: Update of the changes * Work stress level Chi-Square Tests ........................... 106 Table 4.26: Update of the changes * Work stress level Symmetric Measures ..................... 107 xi
  13. 13. LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1: Productivity .......................................................................................................... 16 Figure 2.2: Labour Productivity.............................................................................................. 17 Figure 2.3: Multifactor Productivity....................................................................................... 17 Figure 3.1: The Research 'Onion'............................................................................................ 37 Figure 4.1: Working in Mauritius ........................................................................................... 59 Figure 4.2: Age ....................................................................................................................... 60 Figure 4.3: Work purposes...................................................................................................... 61 Figure 4.4: Gender .................................................................................................................. 62 Figure 4.5: Connectivity ......................................................................................................... 63 Figure 4.6: Applications.......................................................................................................... 65 Figure 4.7: Mobile office ........................................................................................................ 68 Figure 4.8: Phone calls............................................................................................................ 70 Figure 4.9: Work exigencies ................................................................................................... 73 Figure 4.10: Update of the changes......................................................................................... 75 Figure 4.11: Information......................................................................................................... 78 Figure 4.12: Customers........................................................................................................... 80 Figure 4.13: Applications and Job Efficiency......................................................................... 81 Figure 4.14: Idle time.............................................................................................................. 83 Figure 4.15: Planning.............................................................................................................. 85 Figure 4.16: Work-life balance ............................................................................................... 86 Figure 4.17: Responding to office emails ............................................................................... 88 Figure 4.18: Fear to miss calls or emails ................................................................................ 91 Figure 4.19: Improving work-life balance. ............................................................................. 93 Figure 4.20: Responding hastily to emails.............................................................................. 95 Figure 4.21: The smartphone has increased work stress level................................................ 97 xii
  14. 14. LIST OF ACRONYMS BPO : Business Process Outsourcing CRM : Customer Relationship Management ERP : Enterprise Resource Planning GPS : Global Positioning System HR : Human Resources ICTA : Information and Communication Technologies Authority IT : Information Technology PIM : Personal Information Manager SME : Small and Medium Enterprises SMS : Short Message Service TASW : Technology-Assisted Supplemental Work VPN : Virtual Private Network WAP : Wireless Application Protocol xiii
  15. 15. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction The smartphone is a special mobile phone with computer capabilities and internet connectivity (Charlesworth, 2009:32). The smartphone is one of the most popular inventions of this century. In fact, according to Dow Theory (2011:1), 2011 global smartphone sales have gone up to more than 100 million units, 85% higher than the previous year. The smartphone has become an increasingly important tool for work. According to the 2010 Mobile Device, Management and Security Survey, 21% of companies in the United States, had more than half of their employees using smartphones (Riedy, Beros and Wen, 2011:3). Companies in Mauritius have also been following this trend. Indeed, many such companies have been investing in smartphones for their employees, to allow the latter to stay remotely connected to the office. This has given rise to a phenomenon called the mobile office. However, though employers saw the smartphone as a productivity tool, the question remained as to whether this uninterrupted connectivity actually enhanced employee productivity or eventually led to burnout and a fall in the actual productive output. This chapter presents an introduction to the study of the relationship between smartphone usage and the productivity of young professionals in Mauritius. It includes a background to the problem, the problem statement, the aim and objectives of the study, the research questions, the significance of this study and finally, the format of the research. 1
  16. 16. 1.2 Background to the Problem The concept of mobile office became possible with the advances in technology, which allowed companies to become fully digitised, with all data stored and manipulated digitally. The first mobile worker was originally equipped with a laptop containing some of the data and enterprise applications that he or she needed to work from home. Internet connections, which allowed access to corporate networks, were another major advancement for mobile workers. Later, wireless internet connections and the smartphone, allowed an employee to have access to his office items even while standing in a supermarket. For instance, the employee received a notification on the smartphone the moment he or she received an email. The employee could read the email without having to turn the laptop on or even sit down. According to D (2010:29), Mass-based market research firm IDC predicted that by 2013, mobile workers would number almost 1.2 billion, or 35% of the global workforce. In Mauritius, key employees have already started to receive laptops to work at home and a mobile phone to stay in touch with the office. Gradually, Mauritian employees are receiving a smartphone from their employers instead of a regular mobile phone. Managers are providing smartphones to a few of their employees, so that they could stay in touch with them even after office hours, increase worker productivity and improve customer service by keeping employees accessible and responsive to customer problems and concerns (Luttenegger, 2010:259). In companies where there are little regulations regarding the use of outside tools, professionals have even started using their own personal smartphones to check 2
  17. 17. their office emails and gain access to certain office information while being out of the office. In companies, which have restrictions, employees are increasingly skirting these Information Technology (IT) restrictions and security rules in order to use their gadgets to help them do their job better (D'Arcy, 2011:19). Moreover, with the rise of the Business Process Outsourcing sector in Mauritius, there has been a shift from conventional 40 hours week to 24/7 service. Call centre companies work on a shift system, whereby employees mobilise in the office for 24-hour availability to customers. Other companies like those in the Information Technology Outsourcing sector or the financial sector generally do not work on a shift system. Nonetheless, because they work with customers and colleagues (often known as internal customers) in various countries located in different time zones, it is essential that certain key employees should be readily available whenever the customers or colleagues need them to answer urgent queries, solve critical issues immediately or complete some tasks under short notice. The success of such companies in Mauritius depended primarily on the ability of the employees to provide prompt response to their customers. The smartphone therefore became an essential tool to achieve this end. Employees could still attend to urgent emails or tasks even when they were away from the office, doing some personal work, after regular office hours, or during weekends. However, smartphone usage for work could result in various problems. Firstly, in many countries, employees spent considerable time using social networks while they should be working and completed less work in a lapse of time compared to when they did not have any smartphone. 3
  18. 18. Secondly, employees could delay some work that they could have done during office hours because they know that they would have access to the necessary data and email later on. This habit could lead to a decrease in productivity. Such uninterrupted connection to work could be the cause of stress, burnout, health problems and family problems, all of which potentially contributing to an overall decrease in the employees’ productivity. This study has therefore dwelled on the relationship between smartphone usage and employee productivity. 1.3 Problem Statement This research has explored the relationship between smartphone usage and employee productivity. Companies are providing smartphones to their employees for an enhanced productivity. However, the use of smartphones can have a negative impact on employee productivity for various reasons. Thus, the purpose of this research was to investigate the actual contribution of smartphone usage on the productive output of young professionals in Mauritius. 1.4 Aim of the Study The aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between the use of smartphones and impact on productivity of young professionals in Mauritius. 1.5 Objectives of the Study The four research objectives of this study are: • To investigate the growing role of the smartphone as an extension of the office; 4
  19. 19. • To investigate the impact of smartphone usage on the productivity of young professionals; • To analyse the repercussions of uninterrupted connection to the office, on the professional and personal life of the employees; and • To provide recommendations about better smartphone usage, for an increase in productivity. 1.6 Research Questions From the above research objectives, the following research questions were derived: • To what extent do young professionals see smartphones as an extension of the office? • What is the impact of smartphone usage on the productivity of young professionals? • What is the impact of uninterrupted connection to the office on the professional and personal life of young professionals? • How can employers ensure that smartphones contribute positively to the productivity of employees? 1.7 Significance of the Study No known studies have been carried out in Mauritius to investigate the impact of the smartphone technology on workforce productivity. It was therefore very important to undertake this research and determine how professionals were adopting this new technology and whether they were using it in ways that were beneficial or detrimental to them and their company. The research may benefit both employers and employees in Mauritius. Thereafter, employers may have clear information on whether the nature of their business requires investment in smartphones. The research may also provide employers with 5
  20. 20. the necessary background regarding measures, which they may adapt to their business in order to ensure that smartphone usage becomes favourable. Employees may also gain from this research given that they may learn how they can increase their job efficiency through sound smartphone usage. Smartphone companies may also benefit from this research since they can get information on possible improvements that would benefit companies using them. For instance, one main concern is security issues. Many smartphone companies have not tackled these issues, because they do not know what to allow and what to restrict. Companies, which develop applications, may also benefit from this research because they can find out how to improve their applications or build new applications to meet the requirements of smartphone usage in businesses. 1.8 Format of the Study The study starts with Chapter One – Introduction, which presents the introduction to the research, the background to the problem, the problem statement, the aim of the study, the objectives of the study, the four research questions on which the study is centred, the importance of this study and the format of the research. Chapter Two - Literature Review summarises the data obtained from past studies. This chapter attempts to research information regarding the four research objectives of the research. This will be followed by Chapter Three – Research Methodology that sums up the research methodologies, which are used by this research, namely, the appropriate research approach, research design and research strategy to choose. Based on the latter, the target population is identified together with the correct sampling 6
  21. 21. technique and research instrument. The tools for data analysis, data validity and reliability are also presented. Chapter Four – Statement of Results, Discussion and Interpretation provides details of the results obtained from the primary research carried out. The answers to the survey are presented and discussed thoroughly. Chapter Four helps to determine whether the study attends to the four research objectives and to identify the shortcomings with respect to the latter. Finally, Chapter Five – Conclusions and Recommendations comes up with conclusions based on the literature review and the primary research results and discussions, and brings forward recommendations to address each of the shortcomings that were discovered in the previous chapter. 1.9 Conclusion Chapter One serves as an introduction to this research. It provides the background of the problem, which is being studied, the aim of the study, the research objectives of the study and the research questions that the research aims at answering. This chapter also explains the significance of this study. The next chapter summarises the literature gathered for this research. 7
  22. 22. CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction This section outlines the smartphone technology, introduces the mobile industry of Mauritius, defines the general smartphone user experience in Mauritius and finally describes the worldwide change towards the mobile office concept and the smartphone’s role in that phenomenon. The impact of this technology on the productivity of young professionals is then discussed. Thereafter, the consequences of such working style on the employee’s professional life, personal life and health, are debated. Finally, recommendations for better smartphone usage are summarised. 2.2 The Smartphone The most popular smartphones, created by different manufacturers, included the Android, iPhone and BlackBerry (Minton, 2010:94). They differed primarily in their functionalities, the applications that were developed to run on them, their operating systems and the networks that they used (Minton, 2010:94). DeFelice (2007:30) revealed that 96% of the United States small businesses had broadband access and 70% had mobile employees, with the mobile device, becoming the ‘new pc’. Kelly (2010:22) pointed out that 60 million smartphone devices had been sold in the second quarter of 2010 and these sales could eclipse that of PC units by 2012. Similarly, in Mauritius, out of more than one million of its mobile subscribers, 300 000 used a smartphone (Chan, 2012). This represented 30% of mobile phones, which could appear to be a small percentage. However, considering that, as Reed 8
  23. 23. (2010) pointed out, it has only been 5 years since the smartphone were brought to the mass consumer market in 2007, by Apple, it showed the motivation of Mauritius to follow the trend of industrialised countries. Conversely, if Chan (2012) had provided some comparable figures regarding the number of smartphone users in the past years, it would have been possible to draw useful conclusions regarding the adoption rate of smartphones in Mauritius. A report from the ICTA (2009) claimed that the number of internet subscribers grew from 199 511 in 2008 to 203 375 in 2009. Moreover, while in 2005, mobile subscribers accounted for only 34% of these internet subscriptions, in 2009, this figure rose to 52%, reflecting the increase in internet access via the mobile phone and an insight into the adoption rate of smartphones. Some attractive features of the smartphone include Touch Screen interfaces, access to email, built-in social networking and a quality browsing experience (Kelly, 2010:22). 2.3 The Mobile Industry in Mauritius Mauritius has so far managed to keep pace with the dynamic exponential progress in the global mobile technology, in terms of smartphones, tablets, mobile networks and internet connection. Smartphones and tablets of various brands like Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have official distributors in Mauritius, such that these devices land in Mauritius very soon after their launch. For instance, the latest iPhone 4S was first commercialised by the official representative of iPhone, Mauritius Telecom- Orange, in Mauritius, only 3 months, after that it was introduced into the US market (Le Matinal, 2012). The latest Apple tablet, iPad3, which, according to the Daily Mail (2012) was launched in March 2012, was already available at a Mauritian IT exhibition organised in May 2012, by the National Computer Board and the Mauritius IT Industry Association, two official IT bodies in Mauritius 9
  24. 24. (L’express, 2012). Moreover, with vulgarised internet connection, many Mauritians even choose to pre-order the devices online. The rapid adoption of smartphone in Mauritius has thus been possible for many reasons. Firstly, the Mauritian society in general has reached a standard of living, which makes such expensive mobile gadgets affordable. Secondly, for the past decade, the Mauritian government has had as objective, to develop the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector of Mauritius in order to make Mauritius a cyber-island, IT and knowledge hub. Many initiatives have been taken to reach that goal. For instance, recently as presented in Callikan (2011)’s newspaper article, the government set up an ICT academy to train professionals in the ICT sector. Moreover, the government collaborates continually with official bodies and companies to organise workshops and events like the Infotech, Orange Expo, Pro IT Exhibition and Conference, in order to allow Mauritians to be up to date with new technologies (L’express, 2012). Finally, Mauritius has also taken necessary measures to stop the monopoly of the partly state-owned telecom company, Orange, in the ICT sector, which has enabled many mobile companies, such as EMTEL and foreign investors such as MTML and Bharat Telecom to start operations in the country. Such competition has given rise to more products and services of latest technologies, at competitive prices. Furthermore, the Information Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA), a government body that regulates operations in the ICT sector, ensures that there is healthy competition in the sector and that mobile services are provided at reasonable prices. Moreover, according to Defi Media (2012), the ICTA, has allowed other operators, which provide international telephony services and data transfer between Mauritius and abroad, to gain access to the bandwidth 10
  25. 25. infrastructure of Mauritius Telecom, through its submarine cable fibre optic. This measure aimed at increasing competition in the sector. 2.4 The Smartphone User Experience in Mauritius While not all smartphone users in Mauritius utilised the smartphone for work purposes, the smartphone was likely to be recognised, as a smart tool, with which hundreds of interesting tasks could be carried out. Such activities ranged from social networking, web browsing, playing online games and chatting, to watching movies and videos online, listening to music and downloading. Furthermore, the advent of several mobile services and applications came to enhance the usefulness of the smartphone to the Mauritian user. One of these services included the mobile banking. Indeed, as Mc Gee (2012) reported, the Mauritius Commercial Bank was the first bank in Mauritius to introduce mobile banking services to its customers and 96% of its registered mobile banking users were already actively using the facility. Later, the State Bank of Mauritius and the Mauritius Post and Cooperative Bank also provided similar mobile banking services, which could allow customers to conduct balance inquiries, account transactions, utility payment and other banking activities via a mobile handset. According to Le Mauricien (2012), Orange also launched its Orange Money services in April 2012 to allow customers to pay their bills, using SMSs via a mobile phone. Such mobile services turned such money transactions effective and hassle-free. This explained their rapid adoption by mobile users in Mauritius. Another breakthrough included the use of mobile technology by commercial centres. For instance, the latest innovation included the use of QR, a two- dimensional barcode that stored digital data about a product, which could be read 11
  26. 26. by smartphone applications. Thus, such data could trigger many actions on the smartphone like opening of the product brand website, bookmarking the web page, creating a contact for that product, brand or entry of a related event on the smartphone calendar (Sobah, 2012). Moreover, the website of the commercial centres would soon be undergoing revolutionary improvements to allow virtual visit, to enable the customer to locate himself easily within the building (Sobah, 2012). The smartphone has thus been quickly embraced by Mauritians because of its amazing features, multimedia functionalities and applications, which altogether combined usefulness, entertainment and communication. 2.5 The Smartphone as an Extension of the Office This section provides examples of the mobile office concept. Moreover, the benefits of the smartphone technology to both employers and employees are discussed. 2.5.1 Email Access via the Smartphone The elementary requirement of a mobile office is access to office email anytime, from anywhere. According to George (2011:16), the use of smartphones has allowed employees to access company emails at their own convenience. According to Hemby (2010:106), the rise in the number of mobile workers contributed to a projected increase in email from 18 MB in 2007 to an estimated 28 MB a day by 2011. A 2007 Cisco study reported that mobile workers relied on corporate email to remain connected to the workplace and their colleagues (Hemby, 2010:106). Moreover, most mobile workers believed that open and regular communication with their manager was crucial (Hemby, 2010:106). 12
  27. 27. 2.5.2 Teleworking Using the Smartphone Applications Another characteristic of a mobile office is the ability to have access to all the applications and tools, which an employee would normally use on his laptop or PC, anytime, and from anywhere, on his mobile phone. According to Luttenegger (2010:259), smartphones allowed employees to stay connected and work while away from the office, for example, for checking emails while attending a child’s sport event. A mobile office, could thus allow an employee to attend to any urgent work or personal matters while being away from the office. Violino (2011:24) rightly said that smartphone technologies have made it possible for anyone to work in a virtual office, with anywhere and anytime access to the information and applications needed to have a job done. Indeed, technology such as tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices, desktop virtualization, cloud computing, social networking, unified communications including video conferencing, have enabled some companies to run nearly their entire business in a virtual office environment (Violino, 2011:24). Panko (2010:51) provided a good example of the use of the smartphone as a virtual office. Indeed, in an article on the importance of smartphones to insurance agents in the US, Panko (2010:51) stated that insurance claim adjusters would survey damage on the road, take photographs and submit them to insurance companies. Paramedics, on the other hand, would use applications to transmit information when visiting life insurance applicants to conduct medical exams. Panko (2010:51) further emphasized that when insurance agents received inquiries from customers or prospects on the company websites, they could have these moved directly to their mobile devices so that they could respond more promptly when they would be away from the office. For complex applications, agents could 13
  28. 28. use applications to make notes. Later, upon their return to the office, the agents could finish gathering data, enter it on their desktop computers and submit the full application. Moreover, many vendors, including Microsoft, NetSuite and Sage Software have been competing to provide many types of Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and sales-force automation function to mobile users (DeFelice, 2007:30). In addition, such software further increases the power of smartphones. 2.5.3 The Smartphone: a Mobile Office within a Mobile Phone The smartphone can thus be a combination of a communication device and a mobile office. Segan and DeFeo (2004:92) pointed out that, while nowadays most phones have at least a calendar, a few games or even downloadable applications, smartphones went the extra mile to bring voice and data needs together, including synchronising email, surfing the Web, shooting pictures and supporting hundreds of third-party applications. A Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) consumer survey found that awareness of non-voice cell phone features and services was high among cellular owners and non-owners. Moreover, consumers who planned to buy a new cell phone in the next few years were very interested in subscribing to such services as email, internet access, Global Positioning Systems navigation and music and video services (Palenchar, 2008:14). Indeed the smartphone can be a mobile office in many ways. DeFelice (2007:30) explained that smartphones allowed users to do more job-specific functions on the go, like processing sales orders, typing in meeting notes, entering time and billing information and even payroll processing. Moreover, some applications even used GPS Tracking service to allow field workers to clock time from their job sites (DeFelice, 2007:30). In addition, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise 14
  29. 29. Resource Planning and sales-force automation software turn the smartphone into an even more useful tool (DeFelice, 2007:30). According to Roulo (2010:18), Blackberries, iPhones and Androids are among the mostly used handled devices by contractors and service technicians. Some devices gave technicians voice-activated driving directions, some had a camera which could photograph problems, and some handhelds could even capture customer signatures (Roulo, 2010:18). Furthermore, many companies have rapidly redefined and adjusted their corporate strategies to take advantage of this mobile office concept as revolutionised by smartphone usage. In fact, according to a 2010-2011 survey by the Financial Planning Association, about a quarter of financial planning firms used an alternative workplace strategy, even though financial planning was a business, which required much in-person interaction (Otero, 2011:70). For instance, a few financial planners even worked from the gym, relying mostly on their smartphone (Otero, 2011:70). 2.5.4 Usage of the Smartphone as Merely a Phone or More However, some people still use their smartphones primarily for phone calls. Delvinia's 2009-2010 study of Canadian mobile users’ behaviours found that 89% used their smartphones for phone calls, only 28% for emails, 15% for web browsing, and other activities were carried out at a lesser degree (Hendery, 2011:25). In a study of mobile service usage in Finland, Verkasalo (2007:7) found that 43% of the panellists regularly used smartphone applications for Web, Wireless Application Protocol browsing, MMS and offline multimedia playback, and only 25% did not really use these features too much, indicating that they preferred smartphones as conventional communication devices. 15
  30. 30. 2.6 The Impact of Smartphone Usage on Productivity This section provides insight about key productivity concepts, factors influencing productivity and means to measure productivity. Subsequently, the relationship between employee productivity and smartphone usage is investigated. 2.6.1 The Concept of Productivity According to Bernolák (2009:4), productivity refers to the relationship between what was produced and the resources used in its production. Figure 2.1: Productivity Source: Bernolak (2009:4) Bernolák (2009:4) further explained that there were two basic types of productivity concepts and measures: • Effectiveness type; and • Efficiency type. The effectiveness-type measures could assess whether the smartphone allowed the employee to perform with the expected level of quality. In addition, the efficiency- type measures could assess how much work the employee was able to achieve using the smartphone within a specific time frame, as opposed to when he or she had not been using the smartphone. As illustrated in figure 2.2, labour productivity concept refers to the amount of some goods or services of a certain quality produced per person-year or per person- hour (Bernolák, 2009:4). 16
  31. 31. Figure 2.2: Labour Productivity Source: Bernolak (2009:4) Bernolák (2009:4) stated that the effective-type, efficiency-type and labour productivity measures did not gauge the specific contribution of labour or any other factor of production, but only reflected the combined effects of a number of influences, such as technology, capacity utilization, level of output, managerial and supervisory skills as well as the skills, interests and efforts of the employees. This led to the understanding of the multifactor productivity measures, which referred to the ratio of output to the combined input of several inputs, such as labour and capital. Figure 2.3: Multifactor Productivity Source: Bernolak (2009:4) According to Long and Franklin (2010:67), Multi-factor productivity referred to measuring the effect of ‘disembodied technical change’, that is, those advances in technology that are not embodied in capital. The smartphone is an example of such ‘disembodied technical change’. Therefore, organisations could use such calculations to measure whether the smartphone is actually improving employee productivity in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. 17
  32. 32. 2.6.2 The Smartphone: Immediate Action to Work Exigencies One factor of labour productivity is the ability to react to work exigencies, issues, customer demands and other changes within the business rapidly. In his article, McMahon (2011:4) noted that the use of mobile devices had become an integral part of business life in the travel industry since they allowed dealing with clients effectively by taking calls or dealing with urgent booking issues immediately. 2.6.3 The Smartphone: Continuous Connectivity to Work Environment Another factor that is likely to affect labour productivity is the ability to stay connected to the work environment on a continuous basis. In that perspective, the smartphone could provide 24/7 connectivity, and with only one device, one could take calls, receive all corporate and personal emails, and store Personal Information Manager (PIM) information, including phone numbers, contacts, addresses, calendar, and to-do lists (Segan and DeFeo, 2004:92). In addition, with the hundreds of applications, like PDFs and Excel available for smartphones, one could perform many business tasks (Segan and DeFeo, 2004:92). Thus, employees saw the smartphone as a tool, which gave them better flexibility whether they were out of the office or after office hours and still did their job (Luttenegger, 2010:259). As Hilbert (2012) mentioned, flexitime, which has already been introduced by the Government of Mauritius, in the public service, in order to cut down on peak hour congestion, needed to be further improved. Currently officials only had the permission to reach and leave office 15 minutes later. The Public Research Bureau of Mauritius had therefore been seeking to convince the government to allow officials to benefit from greater flexibility in their general working hours. 18
  33. 33. Smartphone usage could rightly be an effective instrument in the successful implementation of such flexitime in the general working sector. Indeed, professionals could thus start working from home itself and leave for office later to avoid heavy traffic jams, which are prevalent in the city areas of Mauritius. Moreover, employees, stuck in traffic, could attend to any urgent emails via their smartphones. The need for flexibility has indeed become predominant in the working sector of Mauritius, because in general many professionals need to travel long distances to their work places and others, who are also parents, need to drop their kids, before setting out on long journeys of 3 hours on average, to office. Kevany (2011:52) stated that smartphones made employees more productive since the employees could still stay connected to work, even while attending to their personal duties like children school concerts. In Mauritius, there has been continuous progress in the mobile network connectivity to allow higher data transfer, download and upload in mobile telephony, especially for the efficient running of mobile applications. In fact, according to Leelachand (2012), Orange commercially launched the 4G network at a speed of 100 Mbps in June 2012 at competitive pre-paid and post-paid tariffs, and its competitor, Emtel was expected to follow suit in the coming months. According to the Daily Mail (2012), this 4G network was essential to support the high-speed 4G network connection that latest tablets and smartphones, like the iPad3 and Samsung S3, offered. Furthermore, while previously, Fiber Optic connection of 100 Mbps was offered by Orange only and to companies only, in March 2012, Bharat Telecom launched its Fiber To the Home (FTTH) network architecture to make fiber connection accessible at home also (Donzelot, 2012). As smartphones relied much on wireless 19
  34. 34. internet connections, the FTTH would allow employees to benefit from faster connectivity to their work environment at home. Moreover, in April 2012, the government also set up several WI-FI hot spots of a speed of 2 Mbps, of about 100m access, in the Capital and other towns of Mauritius (Donzelot, 2012). Such connection facilitated employees’ internet access via their smartphones. 2.6.4 The Smartphone: Right Information at the Right Time The key to success in any business is to have the right information at the right time. Information once obsolete is no longer useful or cannot give any edge over competitors. Thus, the smartphone allows the concept of access of valuable information from anywhere and anytime and represents a strategic difference in day-to-day business. According to Gebauer (2008:101), smartphones allowed support for planned opportunism to make sure that documents and information were available during a trip in the appropriate form when and where needed. Schiller (2001:1) pointed out that today’s mobile office could be on a train, in a conference hall, or even on a street corner. Schiller (2001:1) elaborated that users could access key documents via a smartphone or tablet and stay in the loop, as long as they had the right software. In addition, getting information readily, gave the employees of an organisation, an edge over competitors by providing them with more business opportunities anywhere and anytime (Kevany, 2011:52). One technology, which has revolutionised access to information via the internet, is Cloud Computing. Lundquist (2011:4) explained that Cloud computing has 20
  35. 35. allowed the applications and data to exist outside the mobile device, and be available from anywhere and from any other device. Box.net was one of many cloud- based document management systems on the market (Schiller, 2011:1). Founded in 2005, the company’s service let individuals and organizations move document management out of the office and into the cloud, providing typical document sharing functionality alongside complementary functions such as controlling access permissions, commenting on documents, and organizing projects and teams for collaboration. The Cloud Computing technology were increasingly exploited by many companies, including those which used smartphones for work, because this technology provided a safe and efficient way to access and save information. For that reason, Microsoft Indian Ocean improved its Cloud Computing services, through its Skydrive application, to companies in Mauritius, to include up to 100 GB of data space (Donzelot, 2012). However, this article failed to provide figures regarding the number of the enterprises that were exploiting this application such that no conclusion could be made about the penetration of this technology in the Mauritian’s technological landscape. Other companies, which provided Cloud Computing services, in Mauritius, included Bhumishq Technologies and Mauritius Telecom/Orange (Donzelot, 2012). 2.6.5 The Smartphone: More Effective Customer Service Customers are the key to the success of any business. Therefore, effective customer service is one essential ingredient of productivity. Moreover, continuous availability to customers contributes to an effective customer service. According to Kutler (2005:18), many finance companies had already provided their out-of-office workforce with handsets equipped with useful customer relationship management tools. Such tools modified and adapted to smartphones are turning smartphone usage into important productivity tools (Kutler, 2005:18). 21
  36. 36. Indeed, as mentioned by Kutler (2005:18), the main benefit of smartphone usage for travelling salespeople was that the salespeople could access valuable client information in less time and with less hassle than having to sit down to boot up a laptop and connect to a virtual private network. Thus, they were able to provide better quality services to their customers. Moreover, wireless communication allowed employees to improve responsiveness and communication, both among themselves and with customers (Kevany, 2011:52). Such improved communication obviously made the employee more efficient and effective in doing his or her job. Smartphones have thus allowed professionals who worked directly with customers to be more efficient and prompt in their communication and interaction with their customers, and respond to customers in the way that the latter would prefer to communicate. Smartphones have also revolutionised marketing management and strategy and the way that marketing is done. In this perspective, Greengard (2012:20) pointed out in his article, that the tools and methods required to connect with customers have undergone a fundamental change so much that there had been a need for businesses to devise a customer- focused mobile strategy and boost customer loyalty. Greengard (2012:20) confirmed that businesses had rapidly taken advantage of the specialities of the smartphone to give a new direction to digital marketing. And, although all the technology pieces had not yet come together to create a seamless solution, it was only a matter of time and that mobile-enabled commerce was without a doubt one of the biggest, unrealized opportunities of the future. 22
  37. 37. According to Borg, organizations must pay more attention to digital marketing tools, electronic coupons, proximity-based promotions, digital wallets and loyalty data as part of their customer-focused mobile strategy (Greengard, 2012:20). It was important to put analytics and big data to use, taking into consideration the different groups and subcultures which would be reachable via mobile devices and mobile platforms and target customers and interact with them using GPS data, social media feeds and other tools (Greengard, 2012:20). Parks (2011:4) discussed the use of smartphone by retailers for better customer service such that retailers would provide consumers with fast and easy access to their brands and products from anywhere. Dara Fleisher of Beyondtherack.com believed that consumers with smartphones would drive the use of technology by retailer for branding and for making an online presence (Parks, 2011:4). Thus, smartphone has thus revolutionised customer service and customer service marketing strategies. 2.6.6 The Smartphone: Office Applications and Productivity Enhancing Tools The smartphone became a powerful tool thanks to the numerous tools and programs that can be downloaded on it. Moreover, companies could also install their own office applications on the employee’s smartphone so that the employee can work on these applications from anywhere. According to Gasulla (2011:67), for the past year, Ackerman Security Systems’ 35-plus technicians had all carried smartphones, which they used for scheduling, job costing, inventory, billing and service work. Gasulla (2011:67) interviewed the directors and managers of this company who claimed that the mobile program, which the technicians used, increased efficiency 23
  38. 38. of the technicians because it had allowed them to complete an average of eight calls per day, compared to the initially four to five calls per day. Moreover, this new system brought an improvement in productivity, given that it had caused a reduction in fleet costs and that since then, the technicians did not have to come to office every day to handle paperwork. The types of applications installed on the smartphone depended on what each company wanted its employees to do while away from the office. Some employees would use the smartphones because they were most of the time on the job field, away from the office. Employees such as sales persons would want to provide prompt interaction with their customers, have access to valuable information about their customers and products in real time and be able to modify information on the company’s system from anywhere and anytime. Other professionals would want to complete a task after leaving the office for a personal activity. Kevany (2011:52) indicated that a research undertaken by a Canadian survey company Ipsos Reid showed that the BlackBerry mobile solution provided productivity enhancements, which enabled Small and Medium Enterprises to achieve a Rate of Investment at a minimum of 256%, which equated to a payback period of 142 days. Kevany (2011:52) explained that these productivity enhancements were mainly due to the applications which could be installed on smartphones and which made the smartphones so useful. According to Meall (2011:54), accountants could choose from a range of productivity applications and specialist financial tools to help them do their job. Meall (2011:54) provided examples of such productivity financial applications like the PwC On point, with insights on professional topics and the financial reporting faculty iPhone application, with resources including a financial standards tracker. 24
  39. 39. Thus, one amazing feature of smartphones is the ability to download applications from the internet. These applications can be office applications or other free or paid applications that may help employees to become more efficient at work and in everyday life. 2.6.7 The Smartphone: Making More Effective Use of Idle Time The smartphone was also seen as a productivity tool because it allowed the user to work from anywhere and during travel to and from office. Without the smartphone, the employee would have been idle, unless he or she had been able to sit and open his or her laptop. According to Gebauer (2008:101), smartphones allowed effective use of “dead” time to avoid work overload when returning to the office. Indeed, Gebauer (2008:101) explained that the use of the mobile phone as a device “proxy” based on the flexibility that was provided with the phone, allowed the mobile worker to call the home office, to access Information System resources and ask to act on their behalf. Thus, smartphones allowed the mobile worker to achieve important goals without investing much effort in locating or carrying specialized information or communications appliances with them and allowed using technology for remote awareness monitoring for both the traveller and the colleagues back at the stationary office. 2.6.8 The Smartphone: Better Planning of Office Work The smartphone also allowed better planning of job tasks by employees and managers. This is likely to improve the productivity of the employees. Gasulla (2011:67) mentioned that by accessing office programs on their smartphones on site, technicians could plan and complete tasks remotely, thus 25
  40. 40. improving efficiency. Gasulla (2011:67) explained how technicians used daily schedules and service tickets on their smartphones, and modified their schedule accordingly to reduce down time. For instance, if he had free time during two calls, he could look at his schedule a few weeks ahead and spot a customer he was supposed to provide a service to in his vicinity, and do the work during that free slot instead. 2.6.9 The Smartphone versus the Laptop According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg BusinessWeek by the professional social networking site LinkedIn, 63% of respondents cited their notebook PC as the most effective tool that helps them to do their job, compared to 22% who identified their smartphone (Hesseldahl, 2010:2). When travelling, 49% credited smartphones with keeping them connected to the office, while 35% said that laptops boosted their productivity (Hesseldahl, 2010: 2). Meall (2011:54) mentioned that handsets are continually being improved with better battery life, bigger screens, increased memory capacity and advanced features, like accelerometers, Global Positioning System, gyroscopes, touchscreens and high definition multimedia interfaces. 2.7 The Repercussions of Uninterrupted Connection to the Office on Employees The smartphone has thus given rise to 24/7 connections to the office. This section discussed the implications of such a situation for the employer and the employee. For the employer, an uninterrupted connection to work could potentially lead to compensation and overtime issues. In Mauritius, like in many other countries, there are no clear legislations regarding this type of ‘overtime’. The section also discussed the impact of this uninterrupted connection on the office and on the 26
  41. 41. employee especially in terms of disruption of the employee’s personal life, potential health problems and stress problems. 2.7.1 The Smartphone: Work/ Life Imbalance Uninterrupted connection to the office through the Smartphone was likely to create an imbalance between work and personal life, thereby disrupting the employees’ family life. In a global survey of 1311 senior executives conducted by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), 46% of respondents claimed that their work and life balance were negatively impacted in the last five years due in part to the smartphone usage, which kept them tied to work round the clock (Pomeroy, 2006:14). An article by Walmsley (2008:12) mentioned that the BlackBerry and the iPhone were contributing to the destruction of personal/work boundaries and a study by Sheraton Hotels of 6500 executives showed that 85% took their BlackBerry to bed. With the advent of smartphones, employers required individuals to check digital devices and respond on a 24/7 basis so that there was no longer a clear division between home and work, giving rise to work-life imbalance (Greengard, 2011:20). 2.7.2 The Smartphone: Checking Email Constantly Secondly, smartphone usage could also have negative repercussions on the employee if the latter constantly checks his office email and continues to work, even after office hours, even if the email or work can wait for the next business day. According to Madden and Jones (2008) as cited by Hemby (2012:106), a 2008 study performed by the Pew Internet and American Life Project revealed that 72% 27
  42. 42. of all full-time employees have an email account that they use for work, and 37% of those workers ‘check them constantly’. Moreover, in an article in the Accountancy, Kluwer (2011:128) mentioned that in a survey, 56% took their smartphones on holiday and two-thirds made themselves available for work-related calls. The research found that respondents would check their emails and call the office at least once a week (Kluwer, 2011:128). 2.7.3 The Smartphone: Fear to Miss Call if Smartphone is Off Using the smartphone for work purposes has resulted into the employee’s constant expectation of a business call or email. A survey of SMEs revealed that most of Australian consumers did not turn off their mobile gadgets such as Blackberries in order to take work-related calls and messages (Pontikis, 2007:13). Most of these respondents even took these devices during holidays while only a few turned off these devices during weekends (Pontikis, 2007:13). 2.7.4 The Smartphone: Turning off the Smartphone Could Improve Work- Life Balance It was believed that turning off the smartphone could improve work life balance. In fact, in an article in Personnel Today, Reed (2008:3) posited that the use of mobile device could be so addictive for some people that it was labelled CrackBerry. People could wake up in cold sweat in the middle of the night, desperate to know whether the vital email was sent, reach over the bedside table and check their BlackBerry for any response. Moreover, continuous use of BlackBerry mini computers was found to cause repetitive strain injury-type thumb problems (Reed, 2008:3). In that perspective, the Canadian government sent out a directive to staff urging a 'BlackBerry blackout' in evenings and weekends in a bid to encourage proper work-life balance (Reed, 2008:3). 28
  43. 43. 2.7.5 The Smartphone: Respond Hastily to Emails With the use of the smartphone, users tended to respond hastily to office emails. In fact, Bischoff (2011:4) noted that addiction to smartphones caused people to act as soon they heard the alert of an incoming email or text. Bischoff (2011:4) further pointed out that this was gradually creating the expectation among families, friends, colleagues, bosses and clients, that one would be available 24/7/365. Such round the clock connectivity, could eventually cause people to become burned out and could actually make employee productivity to plummet (Bischoff, 2011:4). 2.7.6 The Smartphone: Increase Stress Level Smartphone usage for work is believed to give rise to increasing stress to users and their families, in many ways. According to Li and Yeo (2011), as the 24/7 week phenomenon was becoming increasingly widespread, more and more people were facing increasing stress and distress, which affected the quality of their work life. In her article on the problems of family members who spend too much time using computers and smartphones, Bernstein (2011) presented technology use as the leading cause of divorce. Fenner and Renn (2010:63) stated that people engage in Technology-Assisted Supplemental Work (TASW) when they perform role-prescribed tasks at home after regular work hours with the aid of technological tools such as laptops, cell phones, Blackberries and PDA. In a study, Fenner and Renn (2010:63) found that perceived usefulness and organisational expectations were positively related to TASW and work-to-family conflict. 29
  44. 44. According to Kachadourian (2006:4), over-reliance on smartphones could discourage face-to-face communication and lead to misunderstandings. Furthermore, executives who were constantly plugged in could also be sacrificing their private time and family life. 2.8 Potential Improvements to Smartphone Usage For smartphone usage to be productive, it must be done in the right way. This section presents an overview of possible recommendations that could limit the drawbacks of smartphone usage. There has been emphasis on providing training to employees on how they should use the smartphone so that they do not disrupt their personal and family lives. There were also discussions about how employers should take necessary measures for investments in smartphones to become more profitable. 2.8.1 Training Fern (2009:30) recommended that training be provided to employees on how to manage the use of smartphone and other IT equipments and infrastructure so that the company can get maximum return on investment. In Mauritius, stakeholders in the ICT sector, which provided smartphones and corporate systems and solutions, organised many workshops and meetings, to allow enterprises in Mauritius to discover latest productivity solutions on the market. For instance, Microsoft Indian Ocean conducted several Customer Immersion Experience sessions with senior officials of Mauritian companies on Microsoft Productivity Solutions suiting each company’s needs (Orange, 2012). However, Orange (2012) did not give any information regarding whether these solutions were applicable to smaller companies and whether these sessions would eventually be extended to all members of a company. Moreover, Orange (2012) justified its emphasis on the integration of smartphones and tablets into its 30
  45. 45. productivity solutions by quoting international figures about the use of mobile devices by professionals for work. The article could also have presented corresponding local figure to give more useful information regarding the number of Mauritian professionals who used the smartphone for work and those who used the software and solutions provided by Microsoft. In their study, Fenner and Renn (2010:63) found that people who applied certain time management strategies could reduce the negative influence of TASW on their lives at home. 2.8.2 Company Policies Garrone (2011:2) recommended that companies identify groups of mobile users that have different mobile information needs in their policies. These policies should also address issues such as ownership, personal usage, professional usage and security, and determine how these policies vary among the different groups of users (Garrone, 2011:2). In order for companies to keep their workforce satisfied and productive, liberalisation of enterprise client technology, the blending of work and home, the rise of the social media as a business application and the emergence of new mobile devices, would all be inevitable (D'Arcy, 2011:19). Companies would need to accept these renegade devices and build systems around them to keep corporate data safe while employees would access them anywhere from a variety of devices (D'Arcy, 2011:19). This would be a win-win situation, where on one hand, employees would use the devices they love and stay productive and, on the other hand, companies would take advantage of the employees’ professional networks and productivity, and avoid investing in these devices themselves (D'Arcy, 2011:19). 31
  46. 46. 2.8.3 Management of Mobile Devices Used by Employees Sharma (2007:28) suggested that effective management of the company’s mobile devices, including the smartphones, would allow faster consideration and uptake of new mobile applications that come on the market, leading in turn, to increased employee productivity. According to D'Arcy (2011:19), for knowledge workers, like software engineers, whose jobs involve collaboration, the right technology could make a big difference and as such, enablement of employee-owned companion devices could improve productivity and make the business run better. 2.8.4 Security Policies and Technologies for Mobile Devices According to Meall (2011:54), the influx of personal smartphones into the enterprise, and all its associated security and support issues, were difficult to manage. Enterprise security solutions had become prolific (and progressively easier to access and use). Tools such as Citrix Receiver, simplify mobile access to virtual desktops and commercial desktop-licensed software (Meall, 2011:54). Meall (2011:54) further elaborated that systems such as VMware's global virtualisation platform (under development), would help enterprises to separate the work and home environment on employee-owned devices. Therefore, according to Meall (2011:54), even if the consumerisation of technology meant that personal mobile devices were advancing more rapidly than the professional systems that users would want to access, and businesses were struggling to manage and exploit this proliferation, there were signs that these issues would resolve by themselves. According to Meall (2011:54), the challenge for business, was then to look beyond the classic trio of email, instant messaging and internet browsing, and assess these new mobile computing platforms and their portfolios of applications, information and services and understand how they could support the business. 32
  47. 47. In his article, D'Arcy (2011:19) discussed about the decision by some chief information officers to encourage employees to use their own smartphones and tablet computers with computer-owned devices to improve their job performances. Such a move would increase employee satisfaction, recruitment and take advantage of professional networks of their employees (D'Arcy, 2011:19). Indeed, instead of finding ways to prevent employees from skirting IT restrictions and security rules to use their gadgets at work, companies were finding new ways to secure and mange employee-owned devices on the corporate network (D'Arcy, 2011:19). D'Arcy (2011:19) pointed out that one third of employees daily used the mobile devices to access sites like Facebook at work. As such, companies who prohibited these devices and applications would only manage to inspire employees to work around the rules. In Mauritius, campaigns were set up to sensitise smartphone users and companies about secure smartphone usage. For instance, according to Esmyot (2011), a cyber- security conference was organised in December 2011, on the world Computer Security Day, where important companies in the Telecommunications sector, like Microsoft Indian Ocean, the National computer Board, Symantec Corporation and Emtel Ltd discussed about strategies for protection of personal and confidential data both at the corporate and individual level. Such workshops were also an opportunity for these companies to educate individuals and companies about the various security solutions available. Unfortunately, Esmyot (2011)’s article merely covered the event, without providing any details about the strategies mentioned or any information, regarding smartphone safety. Such information would have been very useful to a smartphone user. If Mauritius aspires to become a knowledge/IT hub, such articles, which cover important technological events and news, should give sufficient explanations, 33
  48. 48. examples and details in order for any typical reader to understand the topic well and the potential significance and benefit that it could bring into his life. Moreover, in 2012, a department called the computer Emergency Response Team Mauritius had already been set up by the Mauritian government to sensitise about cyber security (Donzelot, 2012). Though such government’s initiative was good, it should definitely have been done earlier. 2.8.5 Development of Applications to Suit the Business Purposes According to Gasulla (2011:67), companies like Ackerman Security Systems and ADS Security in the United States, had not only implemented mobile applications but had participated in developing such mobile programs, along with their respective software providers to enhance the performance of their technicians as well as the productivity of other departments. In Mauritius, important stakeholders in the ICT sector, including the government took measures to encourage IT professionals to enter the niche of mobile applications development for smartphones. Indeed, the increasing use of smartphones and tablets in general gave rise to an equally increasing demand for specific local information on services, shopping, leisure and geolocation (Esmyot, 2012). In that context, a mobile application development competition was organised by the University of Technology and the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, followed by a three-day workshop, in February 2012, to bring together, systems and software providers, application developers, and important stakeholders like Microsoft, Mauritius Telecom, Emtel, Samsung Africa and the University of Mauritius (Esmyot, 2012) . The above steps were positive, but the government had clearly been late and slow in promoting such activities. Thus, the success in making ICT another pillar of the Mauritian economy would entail that the government work on more elaborate strategic planning, collaborate further with the private sector, provide more incentives for 34
  49. 49. local and foreign investment in the ICT sector, and replicate many more such initiatives as soon as possible. 2.8.6 Reviewing Company’s Business Model The advent of the smartphone has changed the way in which employees work, how they interact with their managers, their colleagues and their customers. Consequently, companies must alter their business model in order to cater for the changes that the smartphone is bringing to the business and take full advantage of the potential of the smartphone. After interviewing the head of Ackerman Security Systems Company, Gasulla (2011:67) brought forward the following key steps for making smartphones a productivity tool in a business: analysis, planning and training. For instance, Ackerman Security Systems Company, claimed to have spent nearly a decade, exploring the mobile technology options for its technicians, because a device and program that worked for one company would not necessarily work for another (Gasulla, 2011:67). Moreover, the current system required one and a half hour of training for each technician, such that the only difficulty lied in introducing the device and program to the employees, afterwards, as the employees get accustomed to them, it became easier. Companies should take advantage of their employees’ professional networks because two-thirds of the economy was influenced by personal recommendations, and thus the personal and professional networks of knowledge workers were key to their success and that of the companies which employed them (D'Arcy, 2011:19). Moreover, D'Arcy (2011:19) rightly pointed out that new graduates coming on the job market had grown up with the internet and would not tolerate locked-down legacy operating systems and restrictions and social media use. Such hires of the 35
  50. 50. internet technology era would expect to use the devices that they love at work and allowing them that freedom, would be crucial in recruitment. 2.9 Conclusion This section firstly presented an introduction to the smartphone. Afterwards, some current knowledge about the research objectives for this study was summarised. This data was collected from past studies in various countries. Information about how the smartphone was seen as an extension of the office, how the smartphone has been influencing employee productivity, how uninterrupted connection to the smartphone was affecting the individual and improvements to smartphone usage were obtained. The next chapter covers the discussion that led to the choice of the appropriate research methodology for this research. 36
  51. 51. CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction This section justifies the research methodology and research methods chosen for this research. Research methodology refers to how research is undertaken (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009:3). In contrast, research methods refer to techniques and procedures used to obtain and analyse data (Saunders et al., 2009:3). 3.2 Rationale for the Research Methodology Research methodology involves decisions about the research design, research philosophies, research approaches, research strategies and research methods. Below is a summary of the steps followed in this research. Figure 3.1: The Research 'Onion' Source: Saunders et al. (2009:108) Philosophies Approaches Strategies Data Collection 37
  52. 52. The objectives of this research is to find out how many young professionals see the smartphone firstly as an extension of the office, secondly as a productivity tool and thirdly as a source of negative influence on their professional and personal life. Such data is numerical in nature and can help to verify whether the hypothesis about smartphone usage is correct. According to Pellissier (2008:19), quantitative research is appropriate for examination of specific data from large numbers, for testing hypothesis. For this reason, quantitative method has been chosen for this research. 3.3 The Research Philosophy McMillan and Schumaker (1993:164) relate research philosophy to the development of knowledge and the nature of that knowledge. The research philosophy includes important assumptions on the way the world is viewed and these assumptions, support the research strategy and methods chosen (Saunders et al., 2009:108). According to Saunders et al. (2009:108), there are four main research philosophies namely: • Pragmatism; • Interpretivism; • Realism; and • Positivism. According to Swanson and Holton (2005:19), the philosophy of positivism attempts to get facts in terms of relationships between variables and use quantitative methods to test and verify the hypothesis. Positivism claims that the researcher will not affect the subject of the research (Saunders et al., 2009:113). This research was based on the positivism (quantitative) philosophy because it is external, objective, independent of social factors and structured. The research also included a quantitative data collection (Saunders et al., 2009:113). 38
  53. 53. 3.4 Research Approaches All researches make use of theory (Saunders et al., 2009:124). The extent, to which the theory is clear at the beginning of the research, is determined by the research approach adopted. According to Kotler and Armstrong (2004:148), there are two main research approaches: • Deductive Approach; and • Inductive Approach. In the Deductive approach, the researcher develops a theory and hypothesis and designs a research strategy to test the hypothesis (Kotler and Armstrong, 2004:148). The Deductive approach is attached to the Positivism Philosophy (Saunders et al., 2009:124). In this research, the Deductive approach was chosen because it is related to the Positivism Philosophy (Marczyk, DeMatteo and Festinger, 2005:32). 3.5 Research Design The research design is the general plan about how the researcher answers the research questions (Malhotra, 2004:74). According to Wiid and Diggines (2010:55), the three main research designs are: • Explanatory Research; • Exploratory Research; and • Descriptive Research. This research has primarily been a descriptive research, although it has also been exploratory in nature. Indeed, it has firstly sought to gather literature about the 39
  54. 54. phenomenon of smartphone usage in work productivity in other countries and has thereafter explored this phenomenon in Mauritius. 3.6 Research Strategies Research strategies may be used for exploratory, descriptive and explanatory research, among which, some may belong to the deductive approach and others to the inductive approach (Saunders et al., 2009:141). The strategy chosen should enable the research questions to be answered and the research objectives to be met (Wiid and Diggines, 2010:55). Research Strategies could be categorised as Positivist or Phenomenological. 3.6.1 Positivist Research Strategy The Positivist Research strategy is based on the Positivism Philosophy and one example of which is the survey. The survey strategy allows the researcher to collect quantitative data, which are analysed quantitatively using descriptive and inferential statistics (Saunders et al., 2009:144). A survey strategy is normally used for exploratory and descriptive research (Saunders et al., 2009:144). This data collection technique involves using a questionnaire administered to a sample and the data obtained are standardised to allow easy comparison (Robson, 2002:32). The data collected using the survey strategy is used to suggest possible reasons for particular relationships between variables and to produce models of these relationships (Saunders et al., 2009:144). 40
  55. 55. For this research, the survey is used because it is an adequate tool to assess the opinion of respondents on the research problem and draw general conclusions about the whole population concerned in this research. 3.7 Target Population A population is a full set of cases from which a sample is taken (Crawshaw and Chambers, 2001:421). This research targets young professionals who work in any sector of the Mauritian economy. According to the Central Statistics Office of Mauritius, approximately 220000 fall into the age group of 18-34 (Central Statistics Office, 2010). Out of this population, only those who use a smartphone for work purposes were chosen for this research. This population was selected because the aim of the research was to find out how smartphone usage was influencing the productivity of young Mauritian professionals in general. 3.8 Sampling To answer the research questions, data needs to be collected. However, according to Clarke and Cooke (1998:41), it is impossible to collect all the data available, due to time, money or access restrictions. Therefore, sampling strategy is used to reduce the amount of data by considering data from a sub-group (Saunders et al., 2009:150). 3.8.1 Kinds of Sampling According to Cooper and Schindler (2003:183), there are two types of sampling techniques: • Non-Probability sampling Technique; and • Probability sampling techniques. 41
  56. 56. 3.8.1.1 Probability Sampling Probability sampling, also known as Simple Random Sampling, consists of a controlled procedure of random selection to ensure that each element of the population gets a known non-zero and equal chance of being selected (Sekaran and Bougie, 2010:270). 3.8.1.2 Examples of Probability Sampling According to Kotler (2003:137), examples of probability sampling are: • Simple Random; • Systematic; • Stratified; and • Cluster. Simple Random Sampling involves the selection of the sample randomly from a sampling frame using random number tables, a computer or an online random number generator (Kazmier and Kazmier, 2009:3). 3.8.2 Choosing a Sampling Technique According to Levin and Rubin (1997:297), with probability samples, the chance of each case being selected from the population is known, and is equal for all cases. Simple Random Sampling allows the researcher to infer statistically the characteristics of the population from the sample and thus answer the research questions and achieve research objectives (Lodico, Spaulding and Voegtle, 2010:217). Probability sampling is usually associated with survey or experimental research strategies (Saunders et al., 2009:213). Therefore, for these reasons, probability sampling was chosen for this research. Simple Random Sampling was the probability sampling method chosen because, according to Black (2011:226): 42
  57. 57. • It is easier; • The data chosen does not have any relevant strata and therefore, does not justify the use of stratified random sampling; • Systematic Sampling was not chosen because it may lead to bias if the data has a periodic pattern; and • Cluster Sampling was not chosen because the population does not consist of non-overlapping areas. 3.8.3 Choosing the Sample Size The chosen sample size is 100 based on the recommendations of Salkind (2010:96) who said that the most appropriate sample size is one which only large enough to enable the eventual creation of statistically sufficient numbers in each subcategory. 3.8.4 Obtaining the Sample According to Kothari (2008:153), a sample frame consists of a list of cases or items of the population, from which the sample is drawn and is often carried out when it is impossible to draw a sample directly from the population due to lack of time. For this research, the first step was to obtain a sample frame, which is representative of the population. Then, the final random sample was obtained from the sample frame. The following steps were followed: • A list of all businesses, in the Information Communication Technology, Business Process Outsourcing, Finance, Business and Construction sectors was obtained from the Mauritius Yellow Pages website (MT Yellow Pages:2012). Each of the business has been numbered with a unique number; 43
  58. 58. • An online random number generator (Research Randomiser) was used to obtain the set of random numbers to choose the organisation which will form the sample frame; • Each organisation selected was searched for on Networking Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Afterwards, the employee of each of the selected organisation was contacted via these sites. Visits were paid in person to a few; • Each employee was asked whether they were aged between 18 and 35, and whether they used the smartphone for work; • All the employees who answered yes to both of the above questions were selected to form part of the Sample Frame. The Sample Frame obtained was 300; • From that sample frame, each case was numbered with a unique number; • The online random number generator (Research Randomiser) used to obtain the set of 100 random numbers, between 1 and 300; and • Those cases, which matched the numbers from the set of Random numbers, were selected to form part of the actual sample. 3.9 The Research Instrument According to Owen and Jones (1994:1), there are two types of data: • Primary Data: Raw data has been collected in response to specific questions, for the survey in this research; and • Secondary Data: Data has been collected for another purpose. This data has already been previously processed. The questionnaire was chosen based on the Research Methodology, Research Strategy and chosen Sampling Technique. 44
  59. 59. 3.10 Questionnaire Construction The literature obtained in the previous chapter, and the four research questions, were used as foundation to construct the questionnaire. The investigative questions are in the form of rating questions. According to De Vaus (2002:102), rating questions serve to collect opinion data, and use the Likert- style rating scale, in which the respondent is asked how strongly he or she agreed or disagreed with a statement. A cover letter accompanied the questionnaire, which first provides the title of the study and explains the nature of this research. The purpose and usefulness of the questionnaire are later summarised, together with the importance of the recipient’s response and time. The confidentiality and anonymity of the response are also highlighted. Explanation on how the results will be used, is stated and the respondent is thanked in advance for answering the questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of five sections: • Section A Section A contains three filter questions, to determine firstly whether the respondent is currently working in Mauritius, secondly, whether the respondent uses a smartphone for work purposes and finally, whether he/she is younger than 35 years old. Any respondent, who did not match any of these criteria, was not eligible for the survey. The Data Requirements Table for Section A is available in Appendix F. • Section B 45
  60. 60. Section B contains one demographic question about the gender of the respondent. The Data Requirements Table for Section B is found in Appendix G. • Section C Section C contains rating questions regarding the extent to which the smartphone was seen as an extension of the office in the Mauritian Office. The Data Requirements Table for Section C is found in Appendix H. • Section D Section D contained rating questions to determine the impact of smartphone usage on employee productivity. The Data Requirements Table for Section D is found in Appendix I. • Section E Section E contained rating questions to determine the impact of uninterrupted connection to the smartphone on the individual’s personal life. The Data Requirements Table for Section E is in Appendix J. The table below summarises the list of questions, with their corresponding literature source. 46
  61. 61. Table 3.1: Questionnaire Question Literature Source 1. Are you currently working in Mauritius? 2. What is your age? 3. Do you use a smartphone for work purposes? 4. Are you male or female? 5. My smartphone allows me to remain connected to my work email at all times. George (2011:16) 6. Applications on my smartphone allow me to attend to urgent matters outside office hours. Luttenegger (2010:259) 7. My smartphone combines the usefulness of a communication device and a mobile office. Segan and DeFeo (2004:92) 8. My smartphone is used mainly for phone calls. (Hendery, 2011:25) 9. My smartphone improves my productivity by increasing my ability to react to work exigencies as soon as they crop up. McMahon (2011:4) 10. My smartphone improves my productivity by keeping me updated with the changes occurring within my work environment. (Segan and DeFeo, 2004:92) 11. My smartphone improves my productivity by allowing me to access key information at all times. Gebauer(2008:101) 12. My smartphone improves my productivity by making myself available to my customers at all times. Kutler (2005:18) 13. I use the office applications installed on my smartphone to be more efficient in completing my job tasks. Gasulla (2011:67) 14. My smartphone improves my productivity by allowing me to work effectively during idle time. Gebauer (2008:101) 15. The smartphone helps me to plan my tasks better so that I can complete them in minimum amount of time. Gasulla (2011:67) 16. Having an office smartphone negatively affects my work life balance. (Pomeroy, 2006:14) 17. After office hours, I regularly respond to office emails received on my smartphone. Madden and Jones (2008) as cited by Hemby (2012:106) 18. I fear to miss important office related calls or emails if I switch off my smartphone. (Pontikis, 2007:13) 19. Switching off the smartphone at home will improve my work life balance. (Reed, 2008:3) 20. I tend to respond hastily to emails received on my smartphone. Bischoff (2011:4) 21. The smartphone has increased my work stress level. Li and Yeo (2011) 47
  62. 62. 3.11 Pilot Study According to Naoum (2007:85), a questionnaire should be pilot tested, before it can actually be used to collect data. A pilot test is done for the following reasons: • To refine the questionnaire; • To ensure that respondents will have no problems in answering the questions; • To ensure that there will be no problems in recording the data; • To assess the validity of questions; • To assess the reliability of the data which will be collected; • To check the research methods to be used; and • To ensure that the research methods, which are to be used, are feasible. For this research, a pilot test was carried out with a sample of 16 respondents and their comments helped to amend the final questionnaire. These 16 respondents were then excluded from the final study to avoid any bias. Based on the feedbacks obtained from the respondents, the required modifications were brought to the questionnaire in Table 3.2 below. 48
  63. 63. Table 3.2: Pilot Test Feedback Feedback/Issue Explanation Modification No information had been put about the definition of a smartphone. A few of the respondents did not know whether their handset was actually a smartphone. A description of the smartphone has been added at the beginning of the questionnaire. The answer options did not include ‘Neutral’ Suppose that the respondent did not do one activity as mentioned in a question, ‘he was enabled to answer the question with an appropriate answer’. For instance, in the case where he used his smartphone only to check office emails and did not use any applications for work purposes, he was not able to answer question 5 (Applications on my smartphone allow me to attend to urgent matters outside office hours) correctly. ‘Neutral’ had been added to the questionnaire options, for question 5 to question 21. No question regarding the gender of the respondent. Literature about gender and smartphone usage had been researched. Thereafter, Question 4, regarding the gender had been added to the questionnaire. Question 7 ‘I fear to miss important calls or emails if I switch off my smartphone.’ was confusing to a few respondents. The pilot user was confused whether the question referred to all calls/emails in general or only office-related ones. Question 7 had been changed to ‘I fear to miss important office-related calls or emails if I switch off my smartphone.’ 3.12 Administration of Questionnaires Once the questionnaire was designed, pilot tested, amended, online versions of the Questionnaire (SurveyMonkey), together with the covering letter, were sent to each member of the sample, via email. 49
  64. 64. The online survey was chosen because: • It was easier and faster to encourage the target people to complete the questionnaire; and • It was easier to monitor the progress of the online survey. 3.12.1 Collection of Questionnaires The online system automatically saved the answers for each survey filled online. These answers could be viewed at any point in time during the duration of the survey administration. The answers could be downloaded in an excel sheet version. A basic analysis of these answers could also be done by the online system and be available anytime. 3.13 Data Analysis This section provides a description of the statistical tests that were used to address the research questions and hypotheses. Firstly, the data obtained were coded, such that questions 1 to 21 were coded as q1 to q21, and the responses were coded as 1 to 100, as seen in Appendix K, which shows the responses to the survey. According to Mendenhall, Beaver and Beaver (2009:4), descriptive statistics refer to techniques used to summarise and describe the important characteristics of a set of measurements. In this research, pie charts and bar charts were used to summarise the figures from the survey. According to Leech, Barrett and Morgan (2005:53), inferential statistics refer to deductions about population values based on the sample data, which has been collected and analysed. SPSS 17.0 was used to obtain inferential statistics for this research. 50

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