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Research Proposal: Can Instant Message Replace E-Mail In The Future Add in library

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• Can Instant Message Replace E-Mail in The Future?

• Can Instant Message be a Primary Source of Internal Communication?

• How this Instant Message System will Work?

• What Cost would be?


1. Introduction

Advancement of information and communication technology significantly contributed in enhancing the pace as well as efficiency of the communication procedure. E-mail has been considered to be a revolutionary innovation that enabled individual in sending messages via electronic medium anywhere in the world. Instant messaging is a type of online chat that helps in offsetting the real time text transmission with the aid of internet. Instant messaging facilitates transmission of short messages in both the directions (Flynn, 2004). Lately, instant messaging also provides the opportunity to share text files, audio files, videos etc. In today’s dynamic business environment, instant messaging platforms are widely utilized in order to support effective communication (Stafford, 2008). E-mail, instant messaging and other new communication tools have been replacing the traditional mode of communication (Junco and Cotten, 2011). Now the major question that arises in this context is, whether the use of instant messaging will collapse the e-mail? This research study will focus on the analyzing the future of instant messaging and its cost.

2. Research Objectives

Research objectives will focus on describing the major goals of the research study. The research objectives of this paper are discussed below:

  • To scrutinize the efficiency of the instant messaging and its effectiveness among users.
  • To assess the potential of instant message to replace –mail
  • To assess the role of instant messaging in context of internal communication.
  • To estimate the cost associated with the adoption of instant messaging

3. Research Questions

Research questions are focusing on identification of the major areas of research. Answering theses questions will facilitate achievement of research objectives (Ketchen and Bergh, 2004):

  • What is the role of instant messaging for enhancing the internal communication?
  • Whether instant messaging has the potential to replace e-mail?
  • What is the cost associated for utilizing instant messaging?

4. Literature Review

Emergence of Instant Messaging:

Effective communication is an essential aspect of business. In the electronic age, the mode of communication has been evolving with the aim to enhance its effectives. Presently, human being has been found to be extensive reliant upon technology (Flynn, 2004). Hence, it has been found that since the last decade web technologies are the determinant factor for various human activities. E-mail has received significant popularity due to its convenience as well as effectiveness. Emergence of e-mal rapidly replaced the traditional mode of communication in the business sector along with personal life. Instant messaging was emerged in 1996 which allowed its client to facilitate an interactive real communication in real time. In order to use instant messaging, both the people must have the same instant messaging software  (Junco and Cotten, 2011). This type of communication is referred as chat. Instant messaging has been found to be major help for the internet users for sending messages, images and videos. Presently, different instant messaging software is offering video calls and chats. The new communication tool has received significant popularity over the years. Apart from social interaction, instant messaging has been widely used in business communication which contributed in facilitating real time conversation from anywhere, anytime.

Benefits of Instant Messaging in Workplace:

Instant messaging has been integrating in the communication system of workplace due to its effectiveness. It is evident that various business organizations have identified the importance of integrating instant messaging into the business procedure along with appropriate policy (Pascal, 2003). Business firms have recognized that the instant messaging significantly helps in ensuring high return on investment if the right technology and policy is implemented. The success of the management of a business has a strong positive correlation with effective communication. Presently, instant messaging software platforms are widely utilized by various business organizations (Ou et al., 2010). As the business focuses on embracing instant messaging in the workplace, the traditional form of communication has been almost obsolete. Instant messaging is real time and also can be recorded. It can help in conduction a small conference at the own desk of the employees from different locations (Uskov and Uskov, 2004). This section will focus on identification of various advantages of instant messaging:

Group chat: Instant messaging helps in initiating a formal or informal group chat. In an organization,   group chat is important for enhancing cohesiveness and knowledge transmission (Krause, 2008).

Interaction between team members from off-site locations: Instant messaging uses web technology for transmission of message in real time. Presently, the wave of globalization has facilitated the global business integration. It has been found that the team members are often located in a distant place. Hence, interaction between the team members becomes easier with the aid of instant messaging (Ou et al., 2010).

Enhances Effectiveness and Saves Time: Instant messaging helps in providing a real time conversation. It significantly contributes in enhancing the effectiveness of communication. It is also evident that it saves time which adds positive value to the business (Pascal, 2003).

Convenient and Cost Saving: Instant messaging service only requires internet connection which is available in every workplace. Hence, it can be stated that the instant messaging offers high level of convenience. Additionally, it helps in saving cost of communication (Stafford, 2008). These are the major benefits of instant messaging recognized by the business organizations (Quan-Haase, 2008).


Security Issues Related to Instant Messaging:

Though instant messaging has huge potential for enhancing the effectiveness of communication, it has few risks. These risks are majorly responsible for development of threats and thus it leads to creation of potential security risk (Cooper and Johnson, 2014). First of all, instant messaging uses public network and it utilizes the server of the instant messaging provider. These servers are not secured by firewall. On the other hand instant messaging in the private network can be secured by firewall (Leavitt, 2005). 

Additionally, it has been found that the sensitive information which is exchanged through instant messaging is frequently stored in the unsecured network. As the public network is protected with firewall, anyone can access the private conversation in IM (Paulson, 2002).

In case of e-mails filters are used and the corporate network of various organizations installs antivirus software which protects the users form virus. The attachments sent via instant messaging cannot be checked for viruses. Hence, there is significant vulnerability associated with the instant messaging system. Lack of encryption on the public instant messaging network implies that the confidential messages send via instant messaging can be accessed by other people (Stone and Merrion, 2004). Additionally, communication via instant messaging system cannot be monitored for maintain the corporate security (Quan-Haase, 2008).

5. Research Methodology

Research methodology refers to the pathway which is followed for underrating the research activities. The research methodology assists in depiction of the overall concept of the important elements associated with the research study (Jha, 2008). Basically, the research methodology helps in providing a comprehensive approach which ultimately develops a blueprint of the mechanism and steps for carrying out the research study in an efficient manner. Adoption of the most suitable approach will help in successful achievement of the research objectives. In order to assess the potential of instant messaging in replacing e-mail and its cost along with its role in the internal communication system, it is essential to adopt a suitable methodology that helps in answering the research questions (Ketchen and Bergh, 2004).

5.1. Research Philosophy: Post Positivism

Research philosophy is the considered to be first layer of the conceptual replica, i.e. research onion. Hence, it can be stated that the other steps of the research study is significantly reliant upon the research philosophy. There are various research philosophy and theories which are adopted by academic researchers. Post positivism is one of the most important theories which reject the idea of positivism (Jha, 2008). Post positivism theory focuses on integration of the wide variety of theories with the observation (Johnson, Onwuegbuzie and Turner, 2007). In this paper, the study will focus on the potential of instant messaging in replacing the e-mail in future and its cost along with its role in the internal communication. Hence, post positivism theory will appropriate in this case.

5.2. Research Approach: Deductive

Research approach is the next layer of the research philosophy. There are various research approaches considered by the researchers such as inductive and deductive approach. The researcher needs to choose the best approach in order to ensure successful achievement of the research objectives. It has been found that, in case of inductive approach, the researcher needs to collect all the relevant data and therefore, needs to assess the observations and findings of the research which can be also analyzed so that new theoretical framework can be developed along with recommendations (Ketchen and Bergh, 2004). Again, deductive approach emphasizes on analysis of the established theories and studies. In this approach, hypothesis is set and therefore tested to indentify whether the hypothesis is possible or not. In this paper, deductive approach will be appropriate for this study. Hence, hypothesis will be set for identifying whether instant messaging has the capacity to replace e-mail.

5.3. Research Design: Descriptive

Research design is considered to be an important aspect of research methodology. It has been found that the research design significantly assists the researchers through establishment of the framework which helps in carrying out the study (Johnson, Onwuegbuzie and Turner, 2007). The research design focuses on correlating the direction of the study with the predefined research objectives. It is important to choose the most appropriate research design in order to ensure the achievement of the research objectives which is revolving around analysis of the future position of instant messaging. There are three common research approaches adopted by the researchers such as exploratory, explanatory and descriptive. For undertaking this study, it has been identified that descriptive research design will be appropriate. It will assist the researcher in maintaining the superiority of the study. Descriptive approach will focus on discussing the findings in relations to the potential of the instant messaging in future.

5.4. Data Collection Process

In order to carry out a research study successfully, relevant data must be collected from authentic sources. The data analysis and conclusion is extensively dependent upon the collected data. Hence, the researcher needs to be careful in selection of roper resources for collection. In this research study, both primary and secondary data will be collected. In this section, data collection procedure for both types of data will be discussed (Lodico, Spaulding and Voegtle, 2006).


5.4.1. Primary data collection

In order to draw primary data survey and interview can be conducted. First of all, few organizations can be chosen and the users of the instant messaging can be asked to participate in the survey. For undertaking the survey a close ended questionnaire will be developed. It will significantly help to get an insight regarding the importance and potential of instant messaging in internal communication. Additionally, the senior managers of the respective organizations can be interviewed in order to understand their perspective regarding the instant messaging. The questions for the senior managers will be open ended.

5.4.2. Secondary data collection

Secondary data refers to the information which has is available form the past studies, established theories etc. Hence, for collecting secondary data, the researcher can use books, peer reviewed journal articles, magazine articles, trusted websites and research papers or conference proceedings (Mayoh and Onwuegbuzie, 2013).

5.5.  Sampling Techniques

Sampling technique refers to the selection of the respondents for collecting data. In this paper, simple random sampling technique will be appropriate for this study (Lodico, Spaulding and Voegtle, 2006). Hence, there will no bias in selecting the senior managers for interview and employees of the organization for participating in the survey.

5.6.  Sample Size

Sample size refers to the number of respondents chosen for the study. It has been observed that simple random sampling technique has been adopted for this study. Hence, it is better to choose large number of maple for minimizing error. Hence, 65 employees using instant messaging will be surveyed (Gorard and Taylor, 2004). Additionally, 10 senior managers will be interviewed for collecting relevant data.

5.7.  Data Analysis

Data analysis refers to the activities which will focus on the scrutinizing the data and the help the researcher in reaching firm conclusion. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques will be used for analyzing the gathered data (Kothari, 2004). The information obtained from the interview will be analyzed by qualitative technique as the questions are open-ended. On the other hand, results obtained from the survey can be analyzed with quantities techniques such as estimation of mean, median, standard deviation and correlation co-efficient. Thus, the hypothesis will be tested to reach the final conclusion (Mayoh and Onwuegbuzie, 2013).

5.8. Ethical Consideration

The information collected from primary research will be only used for academic purpose. The personal information of the respondent will not be disclosed and privacy will be maintained all through the research study. Additionally, the secondary data used in the study must be referenced properly (Moutinho and Huarng, 2008).

5.9. Limitations of the Research

The major two limitations of the study is time and budget. The time is a major constraint which restricted various activities of the study. Additionally, budget was low and it did not support all the activities which could have enhanced the study (Kothari, 2004).

5.10. Gantt chart

Gantt chart is considered to be a significant tool in order to anticipate the time taken for conduction each activity mentioned in the research methodology (Gorard and Taylor, 2004). One of the principal activities of research work is to plan and organize all the activities in an efficient manner.  Gantt chart will significantly help in getting an insight to the time taken for each activity and the total time for completion of each action (Coleman and Briggs, 2002).

(Source: Created by the Author)

6. Expected Research Outcomes

This research proposal will focus on understanding the role of instant messaging in internal communication. It is expected that the findings of the research study will demonstrate appositive impact of instant messaging. However, this study may help in identification of the vulnerabilities of the instant messaging and compare the effectiveness and potential of e-mail and instant messaging.


7. Conclusion

This research proposal will be help in providing an insight to the instant messaging and its effectiveness in present world. It has been found that this research proposal will clearly identify the potential of instant messaging and its benefits. This paper will clearly discuss the role of instant messaging in internal communication. Primary research will help in gaining insight regarding the major advantages of instant messaging in the business context along with its vulnerabilities.



Coleman, M. and Briggs, A. (2002). Research methods in educational leadership and management. London: P. Chapman Pub.

Cooper, R. and Johnson, N. (2014). So close yet no agreement: The effects of threats to self-esteem when using instant messaging and audio during seller–buyer negotiations. Decision Support Systems, 57, pp.115-126.

Flynn, N. (2004). Instant messaging rules. New York: American Management Association.

Gorard, S. and Taylor, C. (2004). Combining methods in educational and social research. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Jha, N. (2008). Research methodology. Chandigarh: Abhishek Publications.

Johnson, R., Onwuegbuzie, A. and Turner, L. (2007). Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), pp.112-133.

Junco, R. and Cotten, S. (2011). Perceived academic effects of instant messaging use. Computers & Education, 56(2), pp.370-378.

Ketchen, D. and Bergh, D. (2004). Research methodology in strategy and management. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Kothari, C. (2004). Research methodology. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd.

Krause, T. (2008). Facilitating Teamwork With Lean Six Sigma and Web-Based Technology. Business Communication Quarterly, 72(1), pp.84-90.

Leavitt, N. (2005). Instant messaging: a new target for hackers. Computer, 38(7), pp.20-23.

Lodico, M., Spaulding, D. and Voegtle, K. (2006). Methods in educational research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Mayoh, J. and Onwuegbuzie, A. (2013). Toward a Conceptualization of Mixed Methods Phenomenological Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 9(1), pp.91-107.

Moutinho, L. and Huarng, K. (2008). Advances in doctoral research in management. Singapore: World Scientific Pub. Co.

Ou, C., Davison, R., Zhong, X. and Liang, Y. (2010). Empowering employees through instant messaging. Information Technology & People, 23(2), pp.193-211.

Pascal, C. (2003). Enabling chance interaction through instant messaging. IEEE Trans. Profess. Commun., 46(2), pp.138-141.

Paulson, L. (2002). Malicious code hits instant messaging. Computer, 35(2), pp.26-26.

Quan-Haase, A. (2008). Instant Messaging on Campus: Use and Integration in University Students' Everyday Communication. The Information Society, 24(2), pp.105-115.

Stafford, T. (2008). Introduction to the Special Issue on Instant Messaging in the Workplace. IEEE Trans. Profess. Commun., 51(4), pp.350-351.

Stephens, K. (2008). Optimizing Costs in Workplace Instant Messaging Use.IEEE Trans. Profess. Commun., 51(4), pp.369-380.

Stone, J. and Merrion, S. (2004). Instant Messaging or Instant Headache?.Queue, 2(2), p.72.

Uskov, V. and Uskov, A. (2004). Blending Streaming Multimedia and Communication Technology in Advanced Web-based Education. 1(1).

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