How to Run Effective, Successful Meetings

Editor’s note: When the article originally appeared in SGR‘s OnlineFirst collection, Professor Kauffeld kindly provided further background on the article, including the three most surprising things about the study’s findings. Read the Q&A here.

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Are you tired of unproductive meetings? Here’s how to make the most of meeting time and boost your team’s productivity.

Using results obtained from real organizations, a study in Small Group Research (SGR) examined participants’ interactions and communication behaviors during meetings—some functional, some not—to find the formula for success.

Simone Kauffeld and Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, both of Technische Universität Braunschweig, published “Meetings Matter: Effects of Team Meetings on Team and Organizational Success” in SGR‘s April 2012 Special Issue on Organizational Meetings. Click here to view the Table of Contents.

The abstract:

This study follows the idea that the key to understanding team meeting effectiveness lies in uncovering the microlevel interaction processes throughout the meeting. Ninety-two regular team meetings were videotaped. Interaction data were coded and evaluated with the act4teams coding scheme and INTERACT software. Team and organizational success variables were gathered via questionnaires and telephone interviews. The results support the central function of interaction processes as posited in the traditional input-process-output model. Teams that showed more functional interaction, such as problem-solving interaction and action planning, were significantly more satisfied with their meetings. Better meetings were associated with higher team productivity. Moreover, constructive meeting interaction processes were related to organizational success 2.5 years after the meeting. Dysfunctional communication, such as criticizing others or complaining, showed significant negative relationships with these outcomes. These negative effects were even more pronounced than the positive effects of functional team meeting interaction. The results suggest that team meeting processes shape both team and organizational outcomes. The critical meeting behaviors identified here provide hints for group researchers and practitioners alike who aim to improve meeting success.

To learn more about Small Group Research, please follow this link.

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This entry was posted in Groups, Teams and tagged , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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