Participating in versus Researching University Meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Karen Tracy, University of Colorado Boulder (Communication)

Abstract 
As a longtime faculty member at a major US state university, I have participated in and, sometimes, run different kinds of university meetings. The kinds of meetings I have participated in have included decision making about personnel at department, college, and university levels; information-sharing and advice-seeking of upper administrators with chairs or faculty representatives regarding budget, recruitment, retention, technology, etc.; research groups with a few colleagues or graduate students; graduate committees to plan and approve students’ performance on comprehensive exams, theses, and dissertations; regularly recurring department meetings to share information and make decisions about both easy and contentions issues (e.g., who to hire); informal mentoring and complaining meetings with students and colleagues; research colloquia of many different formality levels; and acting as a representative of a university group to determine allocation of scarce resources. (…) Read more

The Meeting Ethnography Project: Seeking method, purpose, and meaning

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Jen Sandler, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Anthropology)
Renita Thedvall, Stockholm University (Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research – Score)

Abstract 
In this presentation, Renita Thedvall and I share our exploration of the study of meetings that has taken place with about two dozen colleagues working in diverse meeting contexts across the globe. This “Meeting Ethnography” project has unfolded over the past four years through a partnership resulting in three international workshops and an edited volume.

The presentation describes the diverse contributions of “meeting ethnographers” working in social movements, organizations, schools, corporations, networks, social reform coalitions, international development sites, state bureaucracies, and networks of global capital and transnational governance, to a process of taking meetings seriously. (…) Read more

Social interaction in hospital management group meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Tomi Laapotti, University of Tampere (Department of Language and Communication Studies)

Abstract 
At the Gothenburg symposium, I would discuss the findings and conclusions of my article-based dissertation (completed 2017) focusing on formal meetings. The study focuses on hospital management group meetings, and aims to understand the importance of these meetings for the hospital by analyzing the social interaction at these meetings. My study treats meetings as substantial organizational practices, where the organization is made visible and organized (Schwartzman, 1989; Boden, 1994). The data was gathered from a large public hospital in Finland: the data consists of ten video recordings of management group meetings from two different organizational levels, and interviews of seven management group members. (…) Read more

Strategizing across different types of meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Tania Weinfurtner, University of Zurich (Department of Business Administration)

Abstract 
In this study, we examine how strategizing takes place across different types of meetings. Based on a one-year ethnographic field study of a strategy development process in a division of a large telecommunications company, we found that strategists used different types of meetings for different purposes and in different stages of strategy development. We show that these types of meetings serve complementary functions (such as generation of ideas, integration of perspectives, integration with the larger organization, legitimation) that are all necessary for strategy development. (…) Read more

Identity negotiations in meetings: When the manager joins for lunch

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Birte Asmuß, Aarhus University (Management)
Sae Oshima

Abstract 
Authors: Birte Asmuß, Aarhus University, asmuss@mgmt.au.dk
Sae Oshima, Aarhus University, oshima@mgmt.au.dk

Meetings are places, where identity negotiation is a central activity and where members’ local practices recurrently inform and are informed by larger categories (Antaki and Widdicombe 1998). Correspondingly, the approach to understanding organization (macro) by way of identity work (micro) has become prominent (e.g. Fasulo and Zucchermaglio 2002, Alvesson, Lee Ashcraft et al. 2008, Vöge 2010). The current paper aims to further uncover this mechanism by looking at an organizational lunchroom meeting. (…) Read more

Developing and refining a nonverbal coding scheme on effective leadership and followership behaviors in meetings: Preliminary results

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Jacco Smits, University of Twente (Change Management and Organizational Behavior)
Celeste Wilderom, University of Twente (Change Management and Organizational Behavior)

Abstract 
Background. The role of body language and nonverbal behavior in the workplace has received considerable attention in popular management outlets such as Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Yet, the extant scientific literature does not provide a uniform answer as to which nonverbal behaviors are most relevant to managers for improving their team’s effectiveness or for bringing its members to work towards a collective purpose and associated team and organizational goals. (…) Read more

Multimodal (inter)action in technology-mediated business meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Tuire Oittinen, University of Jyväskylä (Department of language and communication studies)

Abstract 
International business meetings today include the frequent use of modern technologies to enable collaboration between distributed workgroups. Participation in technology-mediated (i.e. distant) meetings involves the management of three interactional spaces: i.e. official meeting space, local space and other (virtual) spaces (Wasson, 2006). This raises a practical problem of how to create and sustain shared orientation to the tasks at hand and specific meeting items (e.g. openings, closings, topic-transitions). In face-to-face meetings embodied resources, like the gaze and gesture, along with material objects are frequently used to secure participation and accomplish alignment with others (e.g. (…) Read more

Theory and Method in Meeting Ethnography

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Renita Thedvall, Stockholm University (Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research – Score)
Jen Sandler, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Anthropology)

Abstract 
This paper speaks to the importance of a comparative approach to the phenomenon of meetings as a whole. We argue that meetings are an extraordinarily useful category in research, and that they become particularly useful through a broad comparative analytical project. For the most part, meetings have interrogated as if they were provincial phenomena of one or another place or type of human organization. People have asked questions such as: how do meetings work in companies, and how could they be more efficient? (…) Read more

Meaningful Meeting Data: Paying Attention to the Social Context of Meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Simone Kauffeld, TU Braunschweig (Industrial/Organizational and Social Psychology)

Abstract 
Meetings are a prominent activity in organizations and are used for a variety of purposes such as sharing information and decision-making (e.g., Scott, Allen, Rogelberg, & Kello, 2015; Van Vree, 2011). However, team meetings often take a negative turn (e.g., Rogelberg, Leach, Warr, & Burnfield, 2006). In order to reach a better understanding of what constitutes a successful meeting, a growing amount of research has focused on the fine-grained processes that determine more or less functional interaction during meetings (e.g., Kauffeld & Lehmann-Willenbrock, 2012). (…) Read more