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Meeting effectiveness and task performance: meeting size matters

Joseph A. Allen (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Jiajin Tong (School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, China)
Nicole Landowski (University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 3 March 2020

Issue publication date: 10 August 2021




The purpose of this study was to investigate how a key meeting design characteristic, meeting size, affects the relationship between meeting effectiveness and task performance through employee engagement.


A three-wave time-lagged survey design was used to gather data concerning meeting experiences from employees for statistical model testing.


Using a moderated mediated path analysis, we found that effective meetings only translated into end-of-the-day task performance through engagement when the meeting size was small.

Research limitations/implications

Although much research supports the current findings related to group size and meetings, meeting science has not investigated meeting design characteristics as levers to be pulled to enhance or detract from both meeting outcomes and organizationally desired outcomes. The findings, though are limited, due to potential common method bias, which was limited using methodological and statistical processes.

Practical implications

Managers and meeting attendees should consider how to maintain relatively small meeting size when possible so as to maximize both engagement and performance.


The current study is one of the few to look at meeting size directly as a moderator and helps demonstrate, once again, the importance of effectively designing meetings for success.



Allen, J.A., Tong, J. and Landowski, N. (2021), "Meeting effectiveness and task performance: meeting size matters", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 339-351.



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