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Faultlines during Meeting Interactions: The Role of Intersubgroup Communication

Managing Meetings in Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-83867-228-7, eISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

ISSN: 1534-0856

Publication date: 17 March 2020


With an increasingly diverse workforce, teams need to handle differences among team members and be aware of the impact these differences have on team meetings. As meetings are strongly shaped by team member interactions, communication between team members is central to meeting success. In diverse teams, effective communication and information sharing is even more crucial than in homogeneous groups due to distinct perspectives and knowledge that group members bring to a team. However, effective communication is also more challenging in groups with diverse members than in homogeneous groups. Especially when there is a strong faultline, that is, when multiple attributes align and teams fall into subgroups, communication within the whole team is impaired and might only take place within subgroups. In this chapter, the authors discuss the role of faultlines in meeting interactions and turn to subgroup formation and its impact on interaction patterns within teams. The authors see intersubgroup communication as an important process that links faultlines to meeting outcomes such as performance or satisfaction. By spanning research areas connecting faultline and meeting research, the authors provide scholars with important research questions to be examined in the future. The authors further introduce a new measure of intersubgroup communication that provides insights into dynamics between subgroups. By relating intersubgroup communication to overall communication within a meeting and taking team size as well as different subgroup constellations into account, this measure facilitates studying intersubgroup communication in meetings. The authors provide formulas that scholars could apply to their research.



Straube, J. and Kauffeld, S. (2020), "Faultlines during Meeting Interactions: The Role of Intersubgroup Communication", Meinecke, A.L., Allen, J.A. and Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (Ed.) Managing Meetings in Organizations (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163-183.



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