Organizational meetings: management and benefits
Journal of Management Development
Article publication date: 10 August 2015
The purpose of this paper is to examine the management and benefits of meetings so as to draw conclusions on their effectiveness in organizations given the increasing discontent about their set up.
The study was a cross-sectional survey, data were collected from 325 respondents in 22 service organizations in Kampala, using a questionnaire and participant observations; the instrument was tested for reliability and analysis done using descriptive and statistical techniques.
The key finding was that policy regarding meetings and reasons for convening them jointly account for 57 percent variations in the benefits organizations have. The way meetings are conducted was found to have no significant effect, contrary to anecdotal evidences. The internal and external contextual factors did not affect the effectiveness of meetings. In general meetings have benefited organizations but the discontent on how they are managed is still high.
The lack of analytical and local literature on the study variables limited this study. There were also methodological challenges especially operationalization of variables, sampling and choice of respondents.
The study underpins policy as a key factor for effectiveness of meetings; the literature supported this account. For governance boards there is need to review policy on meetings; and for managers, the paper emphasizes the need for improving how meetings are convened, conducted and the follow up action. The study has provided rich ground for scholars; the authors have extended the debate on meetings, brought into view an African context and made it possible for further studies.
Meetings involve many people in the organization and affect entire operations. There are critical personal factors that are pertinent in the outcome of meetings. The finding that personal factors do not have a significant relationship with effectiveness of meetings should not be applauded till further investigations and conceptualization is done in similar contexts. There are social implications on if meetings are not managed well as the authors have established like time wastage, employee motivation and poor management among others.
Many papers that the authors accessed on meetings were on organizational experiences from western countries, the authors have made an original focus on Uganda and underpinned the debate on management development in Africa. The authors have also examined and provided an empirical basis for understanding effectiveness of meetings using key factors of policy, preparation, conduct and contextual factors.
The authors acknowledge the support provided by the Faculty of Management at Makerere University Business School.
Bagire, V., Byarugaba, J. and Kyogabiirwe, J. (2015), "Organizational meetings: management and benefits", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 34 No. 8, pp. 960-972. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-03-2014-0023
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