Meetings are ubiquitous at work. Therefore, understanding what makes meetings effective (or not) is important. Entitativity (i.e., the “group-ness” of a meeting) may theoretically explain when some meetings are effective. That is, when meeting participants perceive a high enough level of group-ness in their meeting, then they begin to enact the processes to create a successful meeting and experience the outcomes of a successful meeting. The authors propose a model connecting the characteristics of successful face-to-face (FtF) meetings to entitativity and extrapolate this model to online meetings. Specifically, the authors interpret well-researched characteristics and practices of meetings (e.g., using an agenda and meeting punctuality) to be examples of well-established entitativity antecedents (e.g., creating similarity of goals and establishing meeting boundaries). That is, using an agenda creates effective meetings because it focuses members’ attention on common goals. Therefore, entitativity may be an explanatory mechanism for successful meetings. The authors examine the unique challenges of online meetings, which are growing in number. The authors note that entitativity may be harder to establish in online meetings making successful online meetings more difficult. Characteristics of online meetings (e.g., focusing on the few shared documents which may focus members on goals) that may promote success. The authors propose further theoretical work as well as suggest strategies that can be used to increase entitativity in FtF and online meetings.
Blanchard, A. and McBride, A. (2020), "Putting the “Group” in Group Meetings: Entitativity in Face-to-Face and Online Meetings", Meinecke, A., Allen, J. and Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (Ed.) Managing Meetings in Organizations (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 71-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1534-085620200000020004Download as .RIS
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