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Keri K. Stephens, & Jessica L. Ford. (2014). Banning mobile devices: Workplace policies that selectively exclude can shape crisis communication. In and P.C. Shih. L. Plotnick M. S. P. S.R. Hiltz (Ed.), ISCRAM 2014 Conference Proceedings – 11th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 279–283). University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.
Abstract: There is a growing need to understand how mobile devices are used to reach people in a crisis. This study focuses on how work organizations play a gatekeeping role in how their employees receive crisis information. Relying on research in the digital divide and organizational justice, this study compares two different types of organizations and their policies banning or allowing mobile devices at work. Three major themes emerged: having omnipotent supervisors, being powerless workers, and experiencing information holes. These themes highlight the burden placed on organizations to create more inclusive digital policies to ensure that employees do not fall through the net of crisis management systems. Additionally, these findings necessitate new discussions among crisis and emergency management scholars that include the current understanding of the digital divide, specifically as it relates to digital inequality in the workplace.