Information Overload Revisited

Kathleen M. Sutcliffe and Karl E. Weick

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Decision Making

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199290468
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Information Overload Revisited

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  • Business and Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Knowledge Management


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Individuals typically describe information overload as the situation of receiving too much information. Organizational scholars define overload as a state induced when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity or when information processing capabilities and the information loads encountered are mismatched. Perception plays a key role in overload as in this definition: overload is the “perceived inability to maintain a one to one relationship between input and output within a realizable future with an existing repertoire of practices and desires”. Prevailing treatments of overload posit that when a system (individual or organization) is no longer able to process information and becomes overloaded, primary and secondary symptoms are manifested.

Keywords: information overload; processing capacity; information processing capabilities; information loads; inputs; one to one relationship

Article.  9091 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Knowledge Management

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