Date of Award

Spring 1994

Document Type



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Brent Northup

Second Advisor

Valerie Gager

Third Advisor

Darrell Hagen


This thesis investigates the ways in which electronic mail (e-mail) has affected communication at Carroll College, a small undergraduate institution in Helena, Montana, and the level of satisfaction with this mode of communication among 21 randomly selected employees. The study has three objectives: to determine whether prior research is applicable to the environment at Carroll College; to determine whether the installation of e-mail on the Carroll campus in 1991 has improved the efficiency of communication, providing a greater opportunity for personal involvement, and increasing satisfaction among employees; and to make recommendations for further improvement in communication both on and off campus.

Two major points emerging from the interviews pertain to what factors contribute to e-mail use and how e-mail contributes to user satisfaction at Carroll College. Recommendations are made in six major areas: on-going training; the effect on people who do not have access to e-mail; possible effects of providing e-mail to students; overuse of the system; concerns about personal messages; and system security. Analysis of the responses reveals some important consideration either not identified in or contrary to prior research.