Skip to main content
Article
Linking Pre-meeting Communication to Meeting Effectiveness
Journal of Managerial Psychology
  • Joseph A. Allen, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Vrije University Amsterdam
  • Nicole Landowski, Creighton University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2014
Abstract

Purpose – This study investigates the importance of communication that occurs just before workplace meetings (i.e., pre-meeting talk). We explore how four specific types of pre-meeting talk (small talk, work talk, meeting preparatory talk, and shop talk) impact participants' experiences of meeting effectiveness. Moreover, we investigate the role of participants’ personality in the link between pre-meeting talk and perceived meeting effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained using an online survey of working adults (N = 252). Because pre-meeting talk has not been studied previously, a new survey measure of meeting talk was developed.

Findings – Pre-meeting small talk was a significant predictor of meeting effectiveness, even while considering good meeting procedures. Extraversion was identified as a moderator in this context, such that the relationship between pre-meeting talk and perceived meeting effectiveness was stronger for less extraverted participants.

Research limitations/implications – Our findings provide the first empirical support for the ripple effect, in terms of meetings producing pre-meeting talk, and suggest that pre-meeting talk meaningfully impact employees' meeting experiences and perceptions of meeting effectiveness. To address limitations inherent in the cross-section correlational design of the study, future research should experimentally test whether pre-meeting talk actually causes changes in meeting processes and outcomes.

Practical implications – Managers should encourage their employees to arrive in time to participate in pre-meeting talk. Side conversations before a scheduled meeting starts can have beneficial effects for meeting outcomes and should be fostered.

Originality/value – There is very limited research on the role of pre-meeting talk. We identify that small talk is a predictor of meeting effectiveness even after considering previously studied good meeting procedures.

Comments

The final published version of this article can be found at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JMP-09-2012-0265?journalCode=jmp. This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/psychfacpub/119/. 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.

Citation Information
Joseph A. Allen, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock and Nicole Landowski. "Linking Pre-meeting Communication to Meeting Effectiveness" Journal of Managerial Psychology Vol. 29 Iss. 8 (2014) p. 1064 - 1081
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joseph_allen/45/