“Emailisation” of the public sector: tracing the prevalence of use of email in Zimbabwe’s central government

  • Samson Mutsagondo University of South Africa
  • Patrick Ngulube University of South Africa
Keywords: diffusion of innovations; email; emailisation; email management; prevalence of use of email; Zimbabwe


Although paper is still the dominant records format in Zimbabwe, there has been a remarkable rise in use of electronic records, of which electronic mail (email) is a subset. Email dawned in the 1970s but it has increasingly gained much traction in official information and communication in Zimbabwe’s central government in the current decade. The use of email has become a norm or rather a culture, a development which the authors of this article metaphorically coin “emailisation”. This paper traces the rise in official use of email in Zimbabwe’s central government in order to establish changing trends in diffusion of innovations in information and communication. Three objectives are addressed, which are tracing how often email is used in official communication, establishing types of records normally generated and sent using email, and determining the volume of email sent and received in Zimbabwe’s central government per day. This mixed methods research made use of a convergent research design and involved 240 respondents and 10 interviewees. The study calls for responsible and controlled use of email to bring the technology, both official and authentic, in line with the ethos of professional records and information management.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1012-2796