Communication and effective email usage in Saudi Arabia

This paper focusses on issues related to the limitation of effective email service usage that can, in turn, affect the quality of communication in Middle Eastern countries’ organisations. The use of email services have become more common in Middle Eastern countries following the recent introduction of electronic technologies and email systems are now used as a way to manage everyday work in Saudi Arabia organisations and universities. However, most employees in Saudi Arabian organisations and universities are not fully familiar with the use of email services and do not use them effectively, rarely checking or replying to their emails and leaving their mailboxes cluttered with unwanted emails they have not deleted. A properly functioning email service could lead to better communication which could, in turn, lead to better information security systems across Saudi Arabian universities. Princess Nora University (PNU) is used as a case study. Most universities and organisations worldwide have their own guidelines for effective use of email and make them available to their employees, whether in the form of formal training, or published guidelines. Unfortunately, few universities in Saudi Arabia have guidelines for effective use of email features for their employees. A survey has been conducted to measure the effectiveness of email usage within a single Saudi Arabian university, PNU. Based on the survey results and an analysis of the role of the Saudi culture and environment, culturally adapted guidelines will be implemented for effective usage of email at PNU. The guidelines should help in motivating employees to make greater and more effective use of the email service to improve communication between employees.