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Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Joseph A. Allen and Mark van Vugt

Teams in organizations have weekly – or even daily – meetings to exchange information, generate ideas, solve problems, and make decisions. Yet, many team meetings are…

Abstract

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.

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Managing Meetings in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Robert L. Dipboye

Abstract

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The Emerald Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-786-9

Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Svea Lübstorf and Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock

Maintaining and protecting employee well-being and health is of paramount importance for organizations in order to prevent financial losses due to illness, absenteeism…

Abstract

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.

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Managing Meetings in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

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Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Anita L. Blanchard and Andrew McBride

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Managing Meetings in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Joseph E. Mroz, Emanuel Schreiner and Joseph A. Allen

Meetings are an integral function in organizations where interaction between leaders and their employees and thus, leadership, happens. A small but growing area of…

Abstract

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.

Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

John E. Kello and Joseph A. Allen

Previous research on workplace meetings identified critical design features, leader behaviors, group dynamics, post-meeting actions, and other factors which help determine…

Abstract

Previous research on workplace meetings identified critical design features, leader behaviors, group dynamics, post-meeting actions, and other factors which help determine the effectiveness of the meeting. But as much as the authors acknowledge that meetings may differ from each other, much of the research appears to assume that it is meaningful to talk about “the meeting” as a single, generic entity (most commonly, the regularly scheduled staff or department meeting). In fact, though, there are several common types of meetings which vary among themselves in terms of a number of measurable parameters such as structure, meeting members, meeting leader, timing and duration, and scope. It is a gratuitous assumption that what the authors know about workplace meetings based on one especially common type applies to all workplace meetings. This chapter offers a historical review of previous attempts to classify meeting types; it then overviews several common types which deviate from the standard staff meeting paradigm, including project team meetings, debrief meetings, committee meetings, site-wide meetings, shift change meetings, and crew formation meetings. In comparing these types to the staff meeting, the authors identify some of the critical differences, thereby providing a first step toward a true taxonomy of meetings.

Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Clara S. Hemshorn de Sánchez and Annika L. Meinecke

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Managing Meetings in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Jordan G. Smith, Michelle L. Flynn, Marissa L. Shuffler, Dorothy R. Carter and Amanda L. Thayer

Meetings can serve the important role of facilitating communication and coordination for systems of teams known as “multiteam systems” (MTSs) that work interdependently to…

Abstract

Meetings can serve the important role of facilitating communication and coordination for systems of teams known as “multiteam systems” (MTSs) that work interdependently to achieve grand societal challenges. Given that MTSs often appear in complex, ambiguous, urgent, and multifaceted task contexts, the MTSs require effective, and efficient but thorough, communication within and between teams in order to achieve shared goals. However, the extant literature regarding the science of meetings has left much to be explored in regard to the inter- and intrateam influences and impacts. This chapter considers the significance of meetings and their practical value in facilitating MTS processes and performance by leveraging what is known thus far regarding MTS structural attributes, their value, their challenges, and opportunities, integrating this foundation with the broader science of meetings. Building on this rationale, the authors move toward empirically and theoretically derived considerations for how meetings may best be designed, facilitated and utilized for MTS effectiveness, as guided by our current understanding of critical MTS attributes.

Details

Managing Meetings in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Julia Straube and Simone Kauffeld

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Managing Meetings in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-227-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Fabiola H. Gerpott, Ming Ming Chiu and Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock

During team meetings, expressing negativity about other team members’ ideas and contributions – that is, negative disagreements – can derail team processes and harm team…

Abstract

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.

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