Interruptions are a common aspect of the work environment of most organizations. Yet little is known about how interruptions and their characteristics, such as frequency of occurrence, influence decision‐making performance of individuals. Consequently, this paper reports the results of two experiments investigating the influence of interruptions on individual decision making. Interruptions were found to improve decision‐making performance on simple tasks and to lower performance on complex tasks. For complex tasks, the frequency of interruptions and the dissimilarity of content between the primary and interruption tasks was found to exacerbate this effect. The implications of these results for future research and practice are discussed.
Decision Sciences – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1999
Keywords: ; ;
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