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

Faultlines in Meetings – Analyzing Subgroup Structures in Team Discussions

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Julia Straube, Technische Universität Braunschweig (Industrial/Organizational and Social Psychology)

Abstract 
Communication is essential to team performance (Hewes & Poole, 2012). Especially in team meetings, team members need to communicate effectively to share and understand information and to fulfill a common task successfully (Kauffeld & Lehmann-Willenbrock, 2012). Demographic faultlines — hypothetical dividing lines that separate a group into more or less homogeneous subgroups (Lau & Murnighan, 1998; Meyer & Glenz, 2013) — can hinder information exchange between subgroups in teams, as team members tend to be more open to communication with their own subgroup (van Knippenberg, de Dreu, & Homann, 2004; Vora & Markóczy, 2012). (…) Read more

Meeting in brackets

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Sophie Thunus, University of Liège (Sociology of organisations and institutional systems)

Abstract 
Meetings are brackets in ongoing social processes and traditional contexts of action as organisations and institutions. Meetings oblige people to stop performing activities they feel to be the core of their work and leaving the organisations they work in, to move elsewhere and engage in interactions with different kinds of people. Meetings thus induce movements, displacements and some kind of separations between what happen into the meeting frame (into brackets) and the outside environment.
Does it mean that meeting actions and interactions are independent from the meeting’s environment? (…) Read more

The Role of Network Positions and Team Interaction Processes on Initial Trust Formation in Meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Lisa Handke, Technische Universität Braunschweig (Industrial/Organizational and Social Psychology)

Abstract 
Due to a lack of contextual cues and socio-emotional interactions, virtual teams depend on the development of swift trust (e.g., Brahm & Kunze, 2012; Jarvenpaa & Leidner, 1999). Swift trust, in turn, is based on individual expectations which are tested and proven through actions at early stages of team development (Meyerson, Weick, & Kramer, 1996). Furthermore, initial trust formation strongly relies on attribution processes. Central to attributions of trustworthiness is perceived ability (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995). Competence, i.e. ability, is in turn often attributed to individuals displaying high dominance (Anderson & Kilduff, 2009). (…) Read more

‘All we do is meetings around here’ reaching agreement in problem solving meeting talk

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Kyoungmi Kim, University of Warwick (Centre for Applied Linguistics)
Jo Angouri, University of Warwick (Applied Linguistics)

Abstract 
Meetings play a central role in any professional setting, commonly seen as the organisation’s epitome and the context where new knowledge emerges, professional identities are negotiated and practices are brought to scrutiny. The type and function of meetings varies but they are easily recognisable by their participants. In this paper we are particularly interested in meetings employees define as having a primarily problem solving function and we distinguish between formal and informal events. Problem-­‐solving is a high stakes organisational activity and as such, it has been studied from a range of non-­‐linguistic perspectives. (…) Read more

Performing and documenting patient-centred collaboration during meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Katarina Jacobsson, Lund University (Social Work)

Abstract 
During the last decade the Swedish authorities’ appeal for collaboration between and within different welfare institutions has been particularly accentuated through various efforts to standardize and formalize collaboration and co-ordination. Human service workers from various agencies (eg. psychiatry, the social services, and the employment office) are required to arrange meetings regarding individual clients or patients where they draw up a plan, stating “who do what and when”. In this paper, I examine one such meeting where ten professionals come together with Carl, a young patient at a closed psychiatric unit, in order to plan Carl’s future while they simultaneously fill out the form “Co-ordinated Treatment Plan” (CTP). (…) Read more

Charting the Social Order of Meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Ib Ravn, Aarhus University (Graduate School of Education)

Abstract 
One may view meetings as occasions for the construction of social order (Berger and Luckman, 1966). Over decades and centuries (cf. van Vree, 1999), business, political and other meetings have sedimented norms, roles and institutions that render them highly ordered and ritualized. Yet, despite being so ordered and regulated by agendas, speakers’ lists, conventional turn taking, etc., meetings continue to frustrate meeting participants and fascinate observers by their multiple, apparent dysfunctions (e.g., Rogelberg et al., 2014; Geimer et al., 2015).

Empirical studies of meetings (Ravn, 2007; 2011) allow for the identification of three common types of meeting order or style, as well as a fourth, rarer and emerging type that may be contrasted with them. (…) Read more

The physical condition of meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

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Wilbert van Vree, University of Amsterdam (Interdisciplinary Studies)

Abstract 
Every meeting takes place in a physical environment, consisting of a room, table(s), chairs, technical installations, and so on. These things together constitute the physical conditions of a meeting and have an impact on the meeting participants and thus on the meeting process and results.

As a meeting expert I have often been asked by journalists what is the impact of a specific physical element on meetings. Curiously, the correlation between the diverse variables which shape the physical environment and meetings has not yet been the object of any thorough and systematic scientific examination, as far as I know. (…) Read more