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Employees at all organizational levels spend large portions of their work lives in meetings, many of which are not effective. Previous process-analytical research has…
Employees at all organizational levels spend large portions of their work lives in meetings, many of which are not effective. Previous process-analytical research has identified counterproductive communication patterns to help explain why many meetings go wrong. This study aims to illustrate the ways in which counterproductive – and productive – meeting behaviors are related to individual work engagement and emotional exhaustion.
The authors built a new research-based survey tool for measuring counterproductive meeting behaviors. An online sample of working adults (N = 440) was recruited to test the factor structure of this new survey and to examine the relationships between both good and bad meeting behaviors and employee attitudes beyond the meeting context.
Using structural equation modeling, this study found that counterproductive meeting behaviors were linked to decreased employee engagement and increased emotional exhaustion, whereas good meeting behaviors were linked to increased engagement and decreased emotional exhaustion. These relationships were mediated via individual meeting satisfaction and perceived meeting effectiveness.
The study findings provide a nuanced view of meeting outcomes by showing that the behaviors that people observe in their meetings connect not only to meeting satisfaction and effectiveness but also to important workplace attitudes (i.e. employee engagement and emotional exhaustion). In other words, managers and meeting leaders need to be mindful of behavior in meetings, seek ways to mitigate poor behavior and seek opportunities to reward and encourage citizenship behavior.
This study shows how good and bad meeting behaviors relate to employee perceptions of meeting effectiveness and individual job attitudes. The authors develop a science-based, practitioner-friendly new survey tool for observing counterproductive meeting behavior and offer a juxtaposition of good and bad meeting behaviors in a single model.
Maintaining and protecting employee well-being and health is of paramount importance for organizations in order to prevent financial losses due to illness, absenteeism…
Maintaining and protecting employee well-being and health is of paramount importance for organizations in order to prevent financial losses due to illness, absenteeism, and fluctuation. This chapter discusses the role of team meetings for employee well-being. As the contemporary workplace is shaped by team work, team meetings increasingly shape employees’ experiences at work. As such, team meetings may also have a major influence on employee well-being as they consume large amounts of time and thus strongly influence workers’ schedules. While previous research has predominantly focused on negative aspects of meetings and mainly considered them as a workplace stressor, this chapter advances a positive perspective on meetings as opportunities for boosting rather than impairing employee well-being. Upon reviewing the extant evidence about linkages between workplace meetings and well-being, the authors highlight the role of team dynamics during meetings for individual well-being and suggest new perspectives for future research. The authors also discuss actionable implications for structuring and facilitating meetings in order to avoid negative and increase positive effects of team meeting interactions on employee well-being.
During team meetings, expressing negativity about other team members’ ideas and contributions – that is, negative disagreements – can derail team processes and harm team…
During team meetings, expressing negativity about other team members’ ideas and contributions – that is, negative disagreements – can derail team processes and harm team productivity. If team members want to improve their meetings and reduce negativity, which aspects are relevant starting points? This chapter discusses the complexity of this question by considering the interplay of team attributes, individual characteristics, and verbal interaction dynamics that may evoke negative disagreements in meetings. To this end, this chapter relies on existing behavioral and survey data of 259 employees nested in 43 team meetings that were analyzed using statistical discourse analysis. The results of this analysis highlight several potential starting points for reducing negativity in workplace meetings. First, we discovered that team attributes matter, as teams with a lower overall level of job satisfaction were more likely to experience negative disagreements during their meetings. Second, at the individual level, we found a significant gender effect such that women were more likely than men to start negative disagreements. Third, individual team members reporting lower organizational trust were more likely to start negative disagreements. Finally, counter to previous work on interaction dynamics during meetings, we could not identify specific verbal behaviors that triggered negative disagreements. In terms of practical implications, we discuss how managers can increase organizational trust and job satisfaction (e.g., through ensuring justice and improving job design) in order to encourage more positive meeting interactions.
Teams in organizations have weekly – or even daily – meetings to exchange information, generate ideas, solve problems, and make decisions. Yet, many team meetings are…
Teams in organizations have weekly – or even daily – meetings to exchange information, generate ideas, solve problems, and make decisions. Yet, many team meetings are described as ineffective by the participants, due to either their design or dysfunctional communication practices within the meeting. To gain new insights into addressing these issues, this chapter goes back deep in history and discusses the origins and functions of group meetings. Building upon evolutionary theories of human behavior, the authors examine the evolutionary significance of meetings and the ways in which they were adaptive for our human ancestors. Drawing from this evolutionary perspective, we then compare meetings in ancestral times with their modern-day counterparts. Using evidence from (a) ethnographic studies of small-scale societies that model ancestral group life and (b) organizational and team science, we contrast the typical workplace meeting with its ancient counterpart. In this review of ancient and modern meetings, we identify meeting characteristics that have been maintained through time as well as those that are unique/new in the modern time. In doing so, we inspect to what extent meeting practices in ancestral environments are aligned or at odds with meeting practices in contemporary organizations (the notion of mismatch). From these similarities and differences, we derive novel theoretical insights for the study of workplace meetings as well as suggestions for improving contemporary meeting practice. We also include a series of testable propositions that can inform future research on team meetings in organizations.
Across different research fields, it is increasingly acknowledged that gender is not a binary variable and goes beyond the male–female dichotomy. At the same time, gender…
Across different research fields, it is increasingly acknowledged that gender is not a binary variable and goes beyond the male–female dichotomy. At the same time, gender is a prominent social cue that affects evaluations and interactions among individuals. Thus, gender can impact social processes on many levels in complex ways. Meetings provide arenas where key social processes unfold that are relevant to the organization. Understanding which role gender takes in this context is therefore central to organizations as well as meeting research. This chapter provides a critical review of research to date on social influence in meetings, specifically zooming in on the role of gender. The authors conducted a multi-step systematic literature review and identified 43 studies across a wide area of disciplines (e.g., psychology, communication, and management). The authors put special emphasis on the methodologies employed across this work since a comprehensive understanding of the applied methods is core for a synthesis of research results. Through the analysis, the authors pinpoint six variables – individual gender, sex role orientation, gender composition, gender salience, contextual factors such as task type and organizational settings, and the construction of gender as a social concept – that are directly related to gender and which represent factors that are critical for the role of gender in the meeting context. Thereby, this chapter aims to provide a roadmap for researchers and practitioners interested in the role of gender during workplace meetings. The authors conclude by highlighting methodological and managerial recommendations and suggest avenues for future research.
Novel ideas emerge from conversational interaction dynamics in meetings that are organizational practices of interaction. Drawing from meeting science with a focus on…
Novel ideas emerge from conversational interaction dynamics in meetings that are organizational practices of interaction. Drawing from meeting science with a focus on multiparty talk in meetings as communicative events, we refer to interaction dynamics as sequences of verbal statements. We explore patterns of verbal statements in idea generation processes in an explorative, inductive field study of ministerial think tank meetings. These are recurring agile meetings with interactive, free-flowing communication. By utilizing the validated, fine-grained act4teams coding scheme, we differentiate between task-related, procedural, and socio-emotional statements made in these meetings. Our findings show that the interactions within agile meetings are characterized by intensified turn-taking, overlapping speech, and joint heightened involvement. By means of lag sequential analysis, we find that novel ideas emerge from interaction cycles of task and socio-emotional statements. Among the latter, active listening expressed by “mm” or “yeah” is of particular importance for triggering novel ideas. As such, we reveal the micro-level emergence of novel ideas in conversational interaction by highlighting the facilitative function of active listening.
Meetings are conducted by increasingly age-diverse participant groups as the workforces in most industrialized economies are aging due to demographic change. There are at…
Meetings are conducted by increasingly age-diverse participant groups as the workforces in most industrialized economies are aging due to demographic change. There are at least three reasons why meetings constitute a particularly interesting environment to study intergenerational learning processes, defined as individuals’ joint construction of knowledge through an exchange of information with one or more individuals from different age groups. First, meetings allow us to observe a wide variety of interactions that may foster or inhibit intergenerational learning. Second, the interactions taking place in meetings reflect general organizational practices as well as social exchange and age norms. As such, meetings offer a view through the magnifying glass at the age-inclusive or age-discriminating organizational culture which is interwoven with the engagement of different generations in intergenerational learning processes. Third, organizational members use meetings as an arena for strategic interactions to negotiate their current and future status by positioning themselves in relation to their colleagues through social comparisons. This chapter particularly focuses on the latter topic and develops a conceptual model outlining the motivational and emotional coˇnsequences as well as antecedents that link social comparison processes in meetings to intergenerational learning outcomes of participants from different age groups.
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…
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.
Meetings are an integral function in organizations where interaction between leaders and their employees and thus, leadership, happens. A small but growing area of…
Meetings are an integral function in organizations where interaction between leaders and their employees and thus, leadership, happens. A small but growing area of research within the larger workplace meetings domain has started to focus on the role of leaders in promoting effective and satisfying meetings. This chapter provides an overview of research to date on workplace meetings and leadership, and the authors identified seven studies that paired the two areas. The number of publications focusing on meetings and leadership is increasing, with the older papers largely dedicated to qualitative investigations of leader behaviors associated with successful meetings, whereas the more recent papers take a more theoretical and quantitative approach, yet are nonetheless largely isolated from one another. Next, the authors review five theories of leadership (full range of leadership, charismatic leadership, servant leadership, exploitative leadership, and followership), and relate each of the theories to workplace meetings, with a key focus on how the theory may impact subordinates’ perceptions of meetings as well as the utility of meetings for team and organizational functioning. The authors propose seven areas throughout the chapter that future research could explore to extend knowledge about how leadership operates in meetings and how meetings are an important aspect to consider with respect to leadership theories. Primary theoretical contributions are the integration of existing work on leadership and meetings and theoretically based propositions for future research.