The technostress trifecta - techno eustress, techno distress and design: Theoretical directions and an agenda for research

Monideepa Tarafdar, Cary L Cooper, Jean-Francoise Stich

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Technostress—defined as stress that individuals experience due to their use of Information Systems—represents an emerging phenomenon of scholarly investigation. It examines how and why the use of IS causes individuals to experience various demands that they find stressful. This paper develops a framework for guiding future research in technostress experienced by individuals in organizations. We first review and critically analyse the state of current research on technostress reported in journals from the IS discipline and the non-IS disciplines that study stress in organizations (eg, organizational behaviour and psychological stress). We then develop our framework in the form of the “technostress trifecta”—techno-eustress, techno-distress, and Information Systems design principles for technostress. The paper challenges 3 key ideas imbued in the existing technostress literature. First, it develops the argument that, in contrast to negative outcomes, technostress can lead to positive outcomes such as greater effectiveness and innovation at work. Second, it suggests that instead of limiting the role of IS to that of being a stress creator in the technostress phenomenon, it should be expanded to that of enhancing the positive and mitigating the negative effects of technostress through appropriate design. Third, it lays the groundwork for guiding future research in technostress through an interdisciplinary framing that enriches both the IS and the psychological stress literatures through a potential discourse of disciplinary exchange.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-42
Number of pages37
JournalInformation Systems Journal
Issue number1
Early online date21 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • IS design
  • inter-disciplinary
  • review
  • techno distress
  • techno eustress
  • technostress


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