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Employees’ feelings about more meetings: An overt analysis and recommendations for improving meetings

Joseph A. Allen, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Stephanie J. Sands, Creighton University
Stephanie L. Mueller, Creighton University
Katherine A. Frear, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Mara Mudd, Bank of America
Steven G. Rogelberg, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Article comments

This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01409171211222331. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify how employees feel about having more meetings and what can be done to improve employees’ feelings about their work meetings.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained from three samples of working adults. The first was a convenience sample recruited by undergraduate students (n = 120), the second was a stratified random sample from a metropolitan area in the southern USA (n = 126), and the third was an internet-based panel sample (n = 402). Constant comparative analysis of responses to open-ended questions was used to investigate the overarching research questions.

Findings – It is found that employees enjoy meetings when they have a clear objective, and when important relevant information is shared. Consistent with conservation of resources theory, most employees are unhappy with meetings when they reduce their work-related resources (e.g. meetings constrain their time, lack structure and are unproductive).

Practical implications – The data suggest that meetings appear to be both resource-draining and resource-supplying activities in the workplace. Researchers and managers should consider overtly asking about how people feel about meetings, as a means of identifying areas for future research inquiry and targets for improvement in the workplace generally.

Originality/value – The paper describes one of the few studies on meetings that ask the participants overtly what their feelings are regarding their workplace meetings. Additionally, the paper illustrates the usefulness of qualitative data analysis as a means for further understanding workplace activities viewing respondents as informants.

Keywords United States of America, Employees behaviour, Employees attitudes, Employees participation, Meetings, Meeting demands, Qualitative research, Thematic analysis

Suggested Citation

Joseph A. Allen, Stephanie J. Sands, Stephanie L. Mueller, Katherine A. Frear, Mara Mudd, and Steven G. Rogelberg. "Employees’ feelings about more meetings: An overt analysis and recommendations for improving meetings" Management Research Review 35.5 (2012): 405-418.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joseph_allen/25