What is the Purpose of this Meeting? The hidden meanings of the meeting announcement

López-Fresno, Palmira; Cascón-Pereira, Rosalia
This study examines the coincidence or discrepancy between the purpose of meetings stated in the organizer’s announcement and the purposes perceived by the participants. This analysis enriches and complexifies the view of meeting purposes in the literature. Based on structured questionnaire data from 1,946 respondents involved in 490 meetings conducted in the context of an international project, our analysis shows that the stated and perceived purposes of a meeting are not necessarily the same. In particular, a purpose expressed as a noun (e.g. Coordination) may be perceived by participants as various purposes expressed in verbs, that are strongly or weakly aligned with that noun (e.g. Socialize, Coordinate, Follow up or Persuade). This study establishes the need for a distinct line of research into the discrepancy between stated and perceived meeting purposes to understand meeting-related organizational dynamics, and it lays a basis for theorizing within that line of investigation by demonstrating an influence of the internal-external nature of meetings and the local culture. This study also highlights the core intermediation role of socialization for achieving the stated purposes of certain meeting types. Additionally, this study has immediate implications for organizing and managing meetings.
Type of Publication:
constructionism; culture; exploratory data analysis; meeting announcement; meeting effectiveness
Organization Studies
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