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Meeting Design Characteristics and Attendee Perceptions of Staff/Team Meeting Quality

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Abstract

Meetings are a common tool in organizations and are used for a variety of purposes and implemented in a variety of ways. Despite the prevalence of meetings, surveys suggest that they are often unproductive and costly. The current study focused on how meetings are designed in hopes of providing practically and theoretically meaningful recommendations for improving meeting quality. A total of 18 design characteristics associated with staff/team meetings were identified and their relevance to perceptions of meeting quality was tested. Using an online panel-based respondent pool of working adults, 367 individuals participated in a survey that they completed within 48 hr of their most recent staff/team meeting. The results demonstrated that 9 of the design characteristics, spanning all 4 categories of design characteristics (i.e., temporal, physical, procedural, and attendee), significantly predicted perceptions of meeting quality. Furthermore, this study validated and greatly extended previous research showing that agenda use, meeting punctuality, facility quality, and meeting facilitator status relate to meeting quality. In addition, this study identified specific relationships to meeting quality for several facility quality characteristics, including lighting, meeting space, refreshments, and temperature, and expanded our knowledge of key characteristics by identifying agreement use and the number of attendees as important. Taken together, these findings suggest that effective meeting design warrants holistic attention to all meeting aspects. These results were robust across demographics, including organizational type, gender, and supervisory status. Implications for meeting design are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Meeting Design Characteristics and Attendee Perceptions of
Staff/Team Meeting Quality
Melissa A. Cohen
Carlson Marketing, Plymouth, MN
Steven G. Rogelberg
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Joseph A. Allen
Creighton University
Alexandra Luong
University of Minnesota Duluth
Meetings are a common tool in organizations and are used for a variety of purposes and
implemented in a variety of ways. Despite the prevalence of meetings, surveys suggest
that they are often unproductive and costly. The current study focused on how meetings
are designed in hopes of providing practically and theoretically meaningful recommen-
dations for improving meeting quality. A total of 18 design characteristics associated
with staff/team meetings were identified and their relevance to perceptions of meeting
quality was tested. Using an online panel-based respondent pool of working adults, 367
individuals participated in a survey that they completed within 48 hr of their most
recent staff/team meeting. The results demonstrated that 9 of the design characteristics,
spanning all 4 categories of design characteristics (i.e., temporal, physical, procedural,
and attendee), significantly predicted perceptions of meeting quality. Furthermore, this
study validated and greatly extended previous research showing that agenda use,
meeting punctuality, facility quality, and meeting facilitator status relate to meeting
quality. In addition, this study identified specific relationships to meeting quality for
several facility quality characteristics, including lighting, meeting space, refreshments,
and temperature, and expanded our knowledge of key characteristics by identifying
agreement use and the number of attendees as important. Taken together, these findings
suggest that effective meeting design warrants holistic attention to all meeting aspects.
These results were robust across demographics, including organizational type, gender,
and supervisory status. Implications for meeting design are discussed.
Keywords: meeting, quality, satisfaction, design, facilitator
Meetings, a common tool in organizations,
are used for a variety of purposes. These pur-
poses include information sharing (McComas,
2003; Napier & Gershenfeld, 1989), training
(Clark, 1998; Thomsett, 1989), brainstorming
(Reinig & Shin, 2003), problem solving and
decision making (McComas, Tuit, Waks, &
Sherman, 2007; Thomsett, 1989), and socializ-
ing (Kieffer, 1988). Given their multitude of
uses, it is not surprising that meetings are quite
prevalent. One estimate suggests that there
are 11 million meetings each day in the United
States alone (MCI Inc., 1998). Tobia and
Becker (1990) found that the average senior
manager spends about 23 hr per week either
preparing for, attending, or following up on
This article was published Online First February 7, 2011.
Melissa A. Cohen, Decision Sciences, Carlson Market-
ing, Plymouth, MN; Steven G. Rogelberg, Organizational
Science, University of North Carolina Charlotte; Joseph A.
Allen, Department of Psychology, Creighton University;
Alexandra Luong, Department of Psychology, University of
Minnesota Duluth.
Portions of this article were presented at the 17th Annual
Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational
Psychology in Orlando, FL, April 2003, and other portions
were presented at the 69th Annual Conference of the Acad-
emy of Management in Chicago, IL, August 2009. We
thank Milt Hakel, Anne Gordon, Matt Sederburg, and Des
Leach for their valuable advice and input into this study.
This article is a modified version of the first author’s mas-
ter’s thesis conducted at Bowling Green State University.
Correspondence concerning this article should be ad-
dressed to Melissa A. Cohen, Carlson Marketing, 1405
Xenium Lane Suite 150, Plymouth, MN 55441. E-mail:
mcohen@carlsonmarketing.com
Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice © 2011 American Psychological Association
2011, Vol. 15, No. 1, 90–104 1089-2699/11/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0021549
90
meetings, with middle managers spending
about 11 or 12 hr per week on those activities.
More recently, Van Vree (1999) found that
managers in small companies spend approxi-
mately 10% of their time on these activities,
whereas managers in large companies spend
closer to 75% of their total time.
Despite the prevalence of meetings, surveys
suggest that they are often unproductive and
costly. Mosvick and Nelson (1987) indicated
that over 50% of meeting time is wasted, and
that the compounded loss of person-hours rep-
resents a significant drain on American produc-
tivity. Some argue that, in total, unproductive
meetings cost United States corporations
around $37 billion in lost time and resources
(Sheridan, 1989). Similarly, Mosvick and Nel-
son lamented that “poorly planned and poorly
run meetings are the worst kept secret of Amer-
ica’s vaunted business skills. Yet, few compa-
nies have even begun to take a serious look at
the largest remaining item of containable costs
[i.e., misused meetings] in most organizations”
(pp. 4 –5).
Present Study
In this study, we focused on how meetings
are designed, which we refer to as meeting
design characteristics. Design characteristics
have the ability to be identified, measured, and
purposefully planned into a meeting. They re-
late to the temporal, attendee, physical, and
procedural natures of the meeting.
Previous research on design characteristics is
quite limited. We do know that there is consid-
erable variability in meeting design (Volkema
& Niederman, 1995), and that professional
meeting facilitators broadly view design char-
acteristics as highly important to preparing for
and executing successful meetings (Niederman
& Volkema, 1999). Meeting modality (e.g.,
face-to-face vs. technology-facilitated) can im-
pact meeting processes and satisfaction (e.g.,
Lantz, 2001). Other studies manipulate a single
design factor to show its importance, such as
Bluedorn, Turban, and Love’s (1999) examina-
tion of meeting posture’s (i.e., stand up or sit
down) effect on meeting length and group de-
cision-making quality. Sit-down meetings were
34% longer than stand-up meetings, with no
decision quality improvement. Most recently
and comprehensively, Leach, Rogelberg, Warr,
and Burnfield (2009) studied a small set of
design characteristics on perceived meeting ef-
fectiveness and found that agenda use, meeting
punctuality, and facility quality were related to
more positive perceptions of meeting effective-
ness.
In this study, we expanded greatly on extant
work, particularly Leach et al. (2009), by exam-
ining the largest set of design characteristics to
date. Specifically, we studied four classes en-
compassing 18 design characteristics associated
with staff/team meetings, which we speculate to
be highly relevant to perceptions of meeting
quality. These include the five characteristics in
Leach et al., plus 13 other characteristics that
have not been previously studied empirically
but have been advocated in the trade literature.
Several of these additional characteristics drill
deeper into meeting design (e.g., more detail on
meeting facilities).
Ultimately, we sought to aid practitioners
with evidence-based suggestions for improving
meetings as well as to add to the emerging
scientific literature on meetings and perceptions
of meeting quality in particular. Although the
trade literature advocates for each of these 18
design characteristics and they are accepted as
industry best practices, most have not had em-
pirical validation. Thus, a principal part of this
work’s contribution to the meeting and group
literature was to empirically assess the effec-
tiveness of these accepted practices. More spe-
cifically, our primary research goal was to ex-
amine the relationship between each of these 18
design characteristics and perceptions of meet-
ing quality. Table 1 shows the expected pattern
of relationships based on the existing empirical
and trade literature.
Meeting Design Characteristics
In the most basic sense, meetings are essen-
tially communication tools used by groups and
teams to accomplish organizational goals (Mait-
lis, 2005). Like other tools, meetings have cer-
tain design characteristics that are usually de-
termined, or at least have the potential to be
determined, by the meeting leaders or organiz-
ers. These characteristics include a variety of
objective features, such as where the meeting is
held, if minutes are kept, how long the meeting
lasts, if roles are assigned, how the room is
configured, and whether an agenda is distrib-
91MEETING DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
Table 1
Design Characteristics of Meetings
Characteristic Definition/example Selected references How assessed Expected effect
Temporal
Break use A temporary halt of the
meeting
Clark, 1998; Waddell & Rosko,
1993
“Did the meeting have a break?”
Yes or no
Positive
Ending promptness How promptly a meeting
ends compared with its
scheduled end time
Leach et al., 2009; Tropman &
Morningstar, 1985
Actual meeting end minus
scheduled meeting end
Positive
Length of meeting Time duration of a meeting Clark, 1998; Gastil, 1993 Actual meeting end minus actual
meeting beginning
Negative
Starting promptness How promptly a meeting
begins compared with its
scheduled start time
Leach et al., 2009; Tropman &
Morningstar, 1985
Actual meeting start minus
scheduled meeting start
Positive
Physical
Lighting quality Quality or level of light in
the meeting space
Clark, 1998; Leach et al., 2009 “Please describe the lighting in the
meeting room.” 3-point scale:
much too dark/bright to neither
too dark/bright
Positive
Meeting space Appropriateness of size and
type of space for the task
and number of attendees
Leach et al., 2009; Waddell &
Rosko, 1993
“How appropriate was the meeting
room size for the task and
number of attendees?” 3-point
scale: much too big/small to
neither too big/small
Positive
Meeting modality The format in which the
meeting attendees “meet,”
e.g., face-to-face,
telephone
Johansen, Vallee, & Spangler, 1979;
Volkema & Niederman, 1995
“Which of the following best
describes the format of this
meeting?” 7 choices collapsed
into technology-facilitated and
face-to-face
Positive
Noise level Noise level in and around
the meeting
Kieffer, 1988 “If there was any outside noise
present during the meeting,
please rate how distracting that
noise was.” 5-point scale: there
was no such noise to very
distracting
Negative
Refreshments Presence of complimentary
food, drinks, or a meal
during the meeting
Leach et al., 2009; Waddell &
Rosko, 1993
“Which of the following types of
refreshments were offered as
part of the meeting?” 4 choices
collapsed into refreshments not
provided or provided
Positive
92 COHEN, ROGELBERG, ALLEN, AND LUONG
Table 1 (continued)
Characteristic Definition/example Selected references How assessed Expected effect
Seating arrangement Presence of assigned places
for attendees during the
meeting
Bradford, 1976; Kieffer, 1988 “Was there a formal seating
arrangement for the meeting?”
Yes or no
Positive
Space arrangement How the meeting space is
arranged (i.e., tables and
chairs)
Bluedorn et al., 1999; Bradford,
1976
“How were meeting participants
positioned during this
meeting?” 10 choices (e.g.,
stand-up meeting, rectangular
table)
N/A
Temperature comfort How cold or hot the meeting
space is
Clark, 1998; Leach et al., 2009 “Please describe the meeting room
temperature.” 3-point scale:
much too cold/hot to neither too
cold/hot
Positive
Procedural
Formal agenda Written schedule of tasks to
be completed in a meeting
Leach et al., 2009; Mariotti, 1997 “Did the meeting have a formal
agenda?” Yes or no. A follow-
up item assessed whether this
formal agenda was available in
advance of meeting
Positive
Agreement use Meeting “ground rules,” e.g.,
may govern allowable
behaviors, interactions,
topics, how meeting is
conducted
Bradford, 1976; Litsikas, 1995 “Did the meeting have a meeting
agreement or compact?” Yes
or no
Positive
Minutes taken Written account of meeting
proceedings
Leach et al., 2009; Litsikas, 1995 “Were the minutes of the meeting
taken?” Yes or no
Positive
Record of the meeting An electronic record of the
meeting, e.g., video
Jackson, Aiken, Vanjani, & Hasan,
1995; Kieffer, 1988
“Was the meeting recorded
electronically?” Yes or no
Positive
Attendee
Facilitator use Person who assists the group
in accomplishing its task,
guides the meeting process
and decision making
Leach et al., 2009; Niederman &
Volkema, 1999
“Was the job/responsibility of
meeting facilitator performed by
any meeting participants?” Yes
or no
Positive
Number of attendees The number of people
present at a meeting
Belbin, 1997 Open-ended Negative
93MEETING DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
uted. Meeting organizers often make decisions
about these and other meeting characteristics,
either consciously or unconsciously, and those
decisions may ultimately impact meeting out-
comes.
This research is akin to the type of design
research that is common in the fields of human
factors and sociotechnical theory. Human fac-
tors considers human capabilities and tenden-
cies when designing systems and tools to ensure
effective, efficient, and safe function (Howell,
1991). Put differently, it “discovers and applies
information about human behavior, abilities,
limitations, and other characteristics to the de-
sign of tools, machines, systems, tasks, jobs,
and environments for productive, safe, comfort-
able, and effective human use” (Sanders & Mc-
Cormick, 1987, p. 5). When viewed this way,
meetings can be thought of as tools and thus can
be designed systematically to promote positive
human–tool synergy. The sociotechnical ap-
proach to work design emphasizes “creating
work systems in which the social and technical
aspects of those systems are integrated and as
supportive of one another as possible” (Hack-
man & Oldham, 1980, p. 62). Furthermore, this
theory emphasizes the importance of collecting
diagnostic data about a work system before
redesigning it (Hackman & Oldham, 1980).
We identified 18 meeting design characteris-
tics using a thorough manual search of the ex-
tant trade and empirical literature on meetings,
including journal articles, magazine articles,
and books, PsycINFO, the ABI/INFORM data-
base, and Internet search engines. Across these
sources, we found a great deal of convergence
about what design characteristics meetings may
have. Included design characteristics were re-
quired to meet the following criteria: (a) are
generally under the control of the meeting or-
ganizer; (b) are related to the meeting’s con-
duct, composition, or setting; and (c) can be
thought of, identified, and either planned in
advance or initiated at the meeting. The design
characteristics are summarized and defined in
Table 1.
Temporal Characteristics
Temporal characteristics relate to how meet-
ing time is used. These characteristics include
meeting length, promptness of meeting start and
end, and use of a break. Meetings that follow
good temporal courtesy (e.g., start on time, etc.)
are viewed as less disruptive (Luong & Rogel-
berg, 2005) and may assist with work schedul-
ing and task coordination. At the same time,
well-designed temporal characteristics can
maximize time focused on task-related activi-
ties (e.g., as opposed to waiting on a late mem-
ber).
Physical Characteristics
Physical characteristics pertain to aspects of
the meeting setting and environment. These
characteristics include lighting, meeting space,
meeting modality (i.e., face-to-face or technol-
ogy-facilitated), noise, refreshments, seating ar-
rangement, meeting space arrangement, and
temperature. Research and theory suggest that
environmental characteristics are important de-
terminants of employee attitudes and behavior
and can shape temporary affect (Weiss & Cro-
panzano, 1996). Furthermore, positive physical
characteristics of the meeting setting can lead to
greater comfort for attendees and create an en-
vironment that facilitates the attendee’s ability
to focus on the meeting task without distraction
(Bluedorn et al., 1999; Leach et al., 2009).
Procedural Characteristics
Procedural characteristics concern how the
meeting is conducted. These characteristics in-
clude a formal agenda, a meeting agreement,
whether minutes are taken, and whether the
meeting is electronically recorded. Previous
research has suggested that procedural charac-
teristics (e.g., agenda use) are important to
meeting effectiveness (Leach et al., 2009). In
addition, running meetings effectively by im-
plementing appropriate procedural characteris-
tics may increase focus on the meeting task,
assist in accomplishing meeting goals, and en-
hance follow-up processes (e.g., sharing min-
utes; Litsikas, 1995).
Attendee Characteristics
Attendee characteristics refer to the number
of attendees and the presence of a meeting fa-
cilitator. With regard to the latter, a meeting
facilitator controls the flow of information
within the meeting, assists in the decision-
making process, and helps allay meeting derail-
94 COHEN, ROGELBERG, ALLEN, AND LUONG
ment (Niederman & Volkema, 1999). In addi-
tion, based on group research (Kerr, MacCoun,
& Kramer, 1996), as the number of meeting
attendees increases (group size), the amount of
participation per participant is likely to de-
crease. Both of these characteristics should im-
pact the use of time and participation and, thus,
relate to perceptions of meeting quality.
Group decision-making research has shown
that group size fundamentally alters group pro-
cesses and group performance (Ingham, Lev-
inger, Graves, & Peckham, 1974; Mullen,
1991). Larger groups have greater coordination
needs (Gladstein, 1984) and can suffer from
reduced involvement (Wicker, Kirmeyer, Han-
son, & Alexander, 1976). Consequently, design
characteristics may have differential effects
based on meeting size. Thus, we also examined
meeting size as a moderator between design
characteristics and perceptions of meeting qual-
ity.
Perceptions of Meeting Quality
Participant’s evaluation of meeting quality is
an important criterion variable for several rea-
sons. As noted by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980),
how we perceive our environment helps us form
attitudes toward that environment, which in turn
affects how we think about and behave in that
environment now and in the future. It follows
that how employees perceive meetings can have
important attitudinal and behavioral implica-
tions as well. Such perceptions impact how cur-
rent and future meetings are viewed, used, and
supported, and can ultimately impact a meet-
ing’s ability to accomplish its goals. For exam-
ple, negative meeting perceptions may lead at-
tendees to have pessimistic attitudes toward
meetings, avoid meetings, undermine and not
support meeting outcomes, or behave dysfunc-
tionally in meetings (Bennett, 1998). Therefore,
providing meeting attendees with more positive
meeting experiences may have a lasting impact
beyond the meeting at hand. For example, re-
cent research has found that employee meeting
satisfaction is an important predictor of em-
ployee job satisfaction (Rogelberg, Allen, Sha-
nock, Scott, & Shuffler, 2010). Furthermore,
many employees publicly state strong negative
feelings about meetings (Rogelberg, Scott, &
Kello, 2007). These employee complaints (e.g.,
waste of time; not allowing me to do my “real”
work) appear common (e.g., Sandberg, 2008).
Akin to common reasons for studying job sat-
isfaction (Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969), ex-
aminations of employees’ feelings about meet-
ings is a legitimate goal in and of itself. Given
how often we ask individuals to participate in
meetings, it is our responsibility to understand
and work to improve these perceptions, even if
such attitudes are not directly related to behav-
ior.
Method
Participants
A total of 1,988 potential participants were
invited to participate. After excluding individu-
als for methodological reasons (e.g., the direc-
tion to complete the survey within 48 hr of the
meeting was not followed) or analytic reasons
(e.g., the meeting was reported to have lasted 0
min), 367 participants remained in the final
sample (18.5% response rate). Women (n
240) made up 65% of the final sample. Partic-
ipant age ranged from 18 to 70 years
(M36.96 years, SD 10.07), and 91% had
at least some college education. The mean or-
ganization position level was 2.95 (SD 1.03)
on a scale of 1 (lowest)to5(highest). Approx-
imately half (51%, n188) of the sample were
supervisors, and the majority were employed
full time (77%, n284). Median organiza-
tional tenure was 37 months (M64.44
months, SD 69.62), and the mean hours
worked per week were 39.73 hr (SD 11.79).
Participants were employed in a variety of in-
dustries (e.g., education, manufacturing), with
the largest group (19%) in service industries.
Most participants (66%) were employed at pri-
vate (i.e., private for profit, self-employed,
other) as opposed to civic organizations (i.e.,
government, educational, private not for profit).
Design and Procedure
Participants were recruited from the
StudyResponse Center for Online Research. As
of August 10, 2005, StudyResponse had regis-
tered 95,574 individuals willing to complete
academic research surveys. StudyResponse
samples have been used in many published re-
search studies (more than 250) and have been
published in a variety of academic journals
95MEETING DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
(e.g., Piccolo & Colquitt, 2006; Rogelberg,
Leach, Warr, & Burnfield, 2006). We provided
our respondent parameters (working adults) to
StudyResponse, which drew a random sample
of 1,988 individuals from its database, sent a
recruitment e-mail, and sent a follow-up
e-mail 10 days later to nonresponders. Typical
response rates through StudyResponse at the
time were 10 –20%.
The recruitment e-mail indicated that, to
participate in this study, individuals were re-
quired to attend a regularly scheduled staff/
team meeting, defined as follows: (a) is a
scheduled gathering of two or more individ-
uals for the purpose of a work-related inter-
action, (b) is primarily attended by employees
of their organization and those with whom
they work regularly (e.g., in their work group,
team, etc.), (c) occurs on a regular basis, and
(d) is scheduled in advance. This definition
was developed using Luong and Rogelberg’s
(2005) definition, existing meetings literature,
and open-ended descriptions of staff/team
meetings provided by pilot test participants.
Participants were required to complete the
survey within 48 hr of attending the target
meeting. To participate in an optional random
drawing for a cash prize ($300), we instructed
respondents to provide their unique Study Re-
sponse identifier in their responses.
Materials
Study materials were posted on an Internet
website. The instructions contained an expla-
nation of the study and its goals, potential
benefits to participants, a description of the
monetary incentive, participation require-
ments, an informed consent section, contact
information for the researchers, and response
submission instructions. Participants were
told that the purpose of the study was to
examine employees’ experiences with meet-
ings at work to learn how meetings are cur-
rently being designed and conducted, and that
the researchers hoped to use what was learned
from the study to help organizations improve
how they use meetings.
Design characteristics. Each design char-
acteristic was assessed using a closed-ended
item, described in Table 1. For questions with
instructions to check all options that apply, each
response was assigned its own variable; if a
response was checked, it was coded as 1, and if
the response was not checked, it was coded as 0.
For yes–no questions, “yes” responses were
coded as 1 and “no” responses were coded as 0.
In addition, participants were asked to report
whether they themselves played the role of fa-
cilitator in their staff/team meeting.
Perceptions of meeting quality. Percep-
tions of meeting quality were measured using
a 14-item scale of adjectives that was mod-
eled after and adapted from the Job Descrip-
tive Index (JDI; Smith et al., 1969). The ad-
jectives used for these scales either were
taken directly from the JDI or were similar to
the type of adjectives used in the JDI to
evaluate quality of the attitude object. Sample
items include efficient,useful,worthwhile,
and helpful. Participants were asked to report
whether the adjective described their meet-
ing, somewhat described their meeting, or did
not describe their meeting. All negatively
worded items were reverse coded; therefore,
higher numbers indicated more positive rat-
ings. A pilot sample of eight individuals (age:
M27.27 years, SD 6.48) who were
employed full time, attended work-related
meetings, and worked in a variety of indus-
tries was recruited to examine the scale and
comment on its content validity.
The 14 items were factor analyzed using a
principal-axis factor analysis with varimax ro-
tation, and based on the scree plot and the
eigenvalues, a single-factor solution (eigen-
value 8.90, explaining 63.5% of the variance)
was strongly suggested. All items were retained
with the exception of economical, as its factor
loading (.55) was lower than the retention cri-
teria of a factor loading of .60. Therefore, the
final scale consisted of 13 items (␣⫽.96) and
was called the Perceptions of Meeting Quality
(PMQ) Scale. The PMQ score is the mean
across the 13 items.
Results
Descriptive Statistics and Correlations
Table 2 includes the means, standard devia-
tions, and Pearson product–moment intercorre-
lations for the continuous and dichotomous
variables under consideration. All correlations
between dichotomous design characteristics
96 COHEN, ROGELBERG, ALLEN, AND LUONG
(e.g., use of a facilitator, use of a meeting agree-
ment) are point-biserial correlations. On a scale
of 1 to 3 (higher numbers indicate more positive
ratings), PMQ had a mean of 2.56 (SD 0.54).
These results indicate that in general partici-
pants found their meeting experiences to be
relatively positive. This is consistent with other
recently published research on meetings (Ro-
gelberg et al., 2006). It is interesting that the
individuals who considered themselves to be
meeting facilitators reported significantly
greater PMQ than those who did not (M2.73,
SD 0.43; M2.52, SD 0.55, respectively),
t(365) ⫽⫺2.97, p.05.
Demographic characteristics significantly cor-
related with PMQ include participants’ level of
education (r⫽⫺.12), organization type (r.20),
and organizational position level (r.12), such
that individuals with a lower level of education,
those who worked for private as opposed to civic
organizations, and those who had a higher orga-
nizational position level tended to perceive their
meetings as of higher quality ( p.05). Of note,
the following demographic characteristics were
not significantly correlated with PMQ: age, em-
ployment status, gender, number of hours worked
per week, supervisory status, and time employed
with the organization, p.05.
Relationships Between Design
Characteristics and PMQ
Temporal design characteristics. Meet-
ings that start and end on time were rated
more favorably than those that did not, r
.29 and r.16, respectively, with PMQ, p
.05. Meeting length and break use were unre-
lated to PMQ, p.05.
Physical design characteristics. PMQ
correlated significantly, p.05, with space
(r.29; higher numbers indicate a more ap-
propriate space), refreshments (r.11; food or
beverages), temperature (r.17; higher ratings
indicate more comfortable temperatures), and
lighting (r.25; higher ratings indicate more
appropriate lighting). As a categorical variable,
the relationship between types of meeting space
arrangements (e.g., circular-shaped table) and
PMQ was tested with an analysis of variance
(ANOVA), F(8, 358) 0.765, which was non-
significant, p.05. Meeting modality, noise,
and formal seating arrangement were unrelated
to PMQ, p.05.
Procedural design characteristics. Use
of a meeting agreement (i.e., meeting ground
rules) correlated with PMQ, r.14, p.05.
The variable regarding the use of a formal
agenda was analyzed in combination with a
follow-up item: “If the meeting had a formal
agenda, was it accessible prior to the meeting?”
Therefore, this item was recoded into three cat-
egories: no formal agenda, formal agenda with-
out prior access, and formal agenda with prior
access. An ANOVA demonstrated that there
were significant differences in PMQ, F(2,
359) 4.19, across these three groups, p.05.
Follow-up Tukey HSD tests indicated that those
with a formal agenda with prior access had
significantly higher PMQ than either of the
other two groups of attendees, p.05, and
those who had a formal agenda without prior
access did not have significantly different PMQ
from those who did not have a formal agenda,
p.05. Whether the meeting was recorded
electronically and minutes were taken were un-
related to PMQ, p.05.
Attendee design characteristics. The to-
tal number of meeting attendees correlated with
PMQ, r⫽⫺.11, p.05, with larger meetings
seen as having lower quality. The use of a
facilitator was not related to PMQ, p.05.
Interaction Between Design Characteristics
and Meeting Size
A direct effect of the number of meeting
attendees on PMQ has already been established.
However, to understand the impact in relation to
the other design characteristics, we examined
the interaction of the number of meeting attend-
ees with each of the design characteristics. Each
design characteristic was centered around zero
to increase the interpretability of the interac-
tions and also to limit the effect of multicol-
linearity (Aiken & West, 1991). The original
centered variables and the interaction term were
entered into a series of regression equations.
The only significant interaction, which was pos-
itive, was between meeting size and the pres-
ence of a facilitator, p.05, such that larger
meetings saw an increasingly positive impact
on PMQ for meetings with a facilitator. This
indicates that having a facilitator is a key factor
for larger meetings. It is notable that we did not
97MEETING DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
Table 2
Means, Standard Deviations, and Pearson Intercorrelations of All Continuous and Dichotomous Variables
Variable MSD 1234567891011
1. Meeting quality 2.56 0.54
2. Agreement use
a
0.23 0.42 .14
3. Break use
a
0.13 0.34 .05 .18
ⴱⴱ
4. Ending
promptness
b
11.84 23.24 .16
.01 .02 —
5. Facilitator use
a
0.62 0.49 .02 .01 .02 .00 —
6. Agenda
accessibility
c
0.34 0.48 .14
.23
ⴱⴱ
.18
ⴱⴱ
.02 .07 —
7. Length of
meeting 73.83 40.67 .07 .09 .45
ⴱⴱ
.35
ⴱⴱ
.05 .21
ⴱⴱ
8. Lighting
quality
d
2.84 0.39 .25
ⴱⴱ
.02 .01 .04 .01 .00 .03 —
9. Meeting space
e
2.62 0.61 .29
ⴱⴱ
.10 .06 .09 .05 .08 .08 .20
ⴱⴱ
10. Meeting
modality
f
0.95 0.23 .01 .03 .02 .01 .02 .14
.03 .07 .02 —
11. Minutes taken
a
0.44 0.50 .02 .22
ⴱⴱ
.15
.03 .06 .23
ⴱⴱ
.10 .04 .08 .03 —
12. Noise level
g
3.02 1.66 .01 .01 .12
.00 .03 .04 .00 .01 .01 .06 .04
13. Number of
attendees 10.77 8.96 .11
.02 .11 .02 .05 .04 .07 .07 .02 .07 .07
14. Record of the
meeting
a
0.09 0.28 .06 .22
ⴱⴱ
.39
ⴱⴱ
.02 .06 .27
ⴱⴱ
.12 .05 .02 .10 .24
ⴱⴱ
15. Refreshments
a
0.31 0.46 .11
.09 .25
ⴱⴱ
.04 .11 .09 .22
ⴱⴱ
.04 .06 .05 .04
16. Seating
arrangement
a
0.05 0.21 .05 .23
ⴱⴱ
.15
.01 .01 .20
ⴱⴱ
.08 .04 .01 .05 .15
17. Starting
promptness
b
8.69 9.88 .29
ⴱⴱ
.03 .04 .38
ⴱⴱ
.04 .04 .06 .08 .17
.04 .05
18. Temperature
comfort
h
2.62 0.56 .17
.08 .14
.00 .02 .08 .08 .26
ⴱⴱ
.23
ⴱⴱ
.04 .06
19. Attendee as
facilitator
a
0.20 0.40 .15
.10 .04 .07 .28
ⴱⴱ
.11 .08 .03 .09 .03 .03
20. Age 36.96 10.07 .09 .06 .00 .03 .02 .00 .01 .12 .02 .04 .06
21. Employment
status
i
0.22 0.42 .02 .10 .01 .02 .01 .18
ⴱⴱ
.00 .00 .07 .02 .06
22. Gender
j
0.66 0.49 .07 .06 .00 .02 .04 .08 .00 .06 .07 .03 .03
23. Education level 5.01 1.25 .12
.06 .04 .02 .04 .03 .01 .12 .05 .02 .05
24. Hours worked 39.73 11.79 .01 .08 .07 .01 .06 .16
.04 .04 .02 .02 .07
25. Organization
type
k
0.66 0.48 .20
ⴱⴱ
.10 .11 .07 .08 .11 .02 .06 .07 .10 .00
26. Organizational
level
l
2.95 1.03 .12
.04 .13 .01 .07 .03 .09 .05 .01 .09 .01
27. Supervisory
status
a
0.49 0.50 .10 .02 .06 .06 .03 .09 .10 .03 .00 .10 .05
28. Time
employed
m
64.44 69.62 .03 .06 .02 .06 .05 .00 .05 .08 .02 .06 .01
a
Point-biserial correlation: 0 no, 1 yes.
b
Measured as the difference in minutes between the intended start/end time
and the actual start/end time.
c
Point-biserial correlation: 0 no formal agenda with premeeting accessibility, 1 normal
agenda with premeeting accessibility.
d
Higher values indicate more appropriate lighting: 1 much too dark/bright,2
a little too dark/bright,3neither too dark/bright.
e
Higher values indicate a more appropriate room size: 1 much too
small/big,2a little too small/big, 3 neither too small/big.
f
Point-biserial correlation: 0 technology-facilitated, 1
face-to-face.
g
Higher values indicate higher levels of noise.
h
Higher values indicate a more comfortable temperature:
1much too hot/cold,2a little too hot/cold,3neither too hot/cold.
i
Point-biserial correlation: 0 full time, 1
part time.
j
Point-biserial correlation: 0 male, 1 female.
k
Point-biserial correlation: 0 civic organization, 1
private organization.
l
Higher values indicate a higher position level in the respondent’s organization.
m
Measured in
months.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
98 COHEN, ROGELBERG, ALLEN, AND LUONG
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
.02 —
.03 .18
ⴱⴱ
.03 .03 .15
.04 .08 .27
ⴱⴱ
.02 —
.08 .06 .02 .02 .01 —
.03 .07 .11 .06 .06 .13 —
.02 .20
ⴱⴱ
.20
ⴱⴱ
.10 .06 .01 .08
.10 .07 .02 .05 .01 .02 .11 .09
.04 .07 .07 .10 .04 .08 .09 .02 .09
.06 .06 .01 .07 .08 .08 .14
.10 .06 .23
ⴱⴱ
.03 .07 .06 .04 .08 .00 .02 .03 .02 .13 .12 —
.00 .05 .07 .04 .05 .11 .04 .13 .02 .67
ⴱⴱ
.26
ⴱⴱ
.19
ⴱⴱ
.05 .06 .07 .13 .08 .01 .06 .08 .00 .01 .09 .08 .05 —
.07 .17
.07 .19
ⴱⴱ
.03 .03 .02 .22
ⴱⴱ
.10 .11 .15
.09 .12 .03
.00 .14
.06 .09 .05 .07 .00 .17
ⴱⴱ
.09 .17
ⴱⴱ
.16
.09 .24
ⴱⴱ
.04 .34
ⴱⴱ
.03 .05 .06 .01 .04 .09 .01 .01 .39
ⴱⴱ
.11 .09 .06 .09 .14
.14
.11 —
99MEETING DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
find a significant direct relationship between the
presence of a facilitator and PMQ. All other
interactions were nonsignificant, p.05.
Discussion
In this study, we examined 18 meeting design
characteristics from the empirical and trade lit-
erature, and we demonstrated that nine of these
characteristics, spanning all four categories of
design characteristics (i.e., temporal, physical,
procedural, and attendee), significantly pre-
dicted PMQ. Furthermore, our study validates
and greatly extends the significant design char-
acteristics identified in Leach et al. (2009),
namely agenda use, meeting punctuality, and
facility quality, as well as the finding that par-
ticipants who serve as the meeting facilitator
give a more positive rating of meeting quality.
In addition, this study identifies specific rela-
tionships for several facility quality character-
istics, including lighting, meeting space, re-
freshments, and temperature, and expands our
knowledge of key characteristics by identifying
agreement use and the number of attendees as
important. Taken together, these findings sug-
gest that effective meeting design warrants ho-
listic attention to all meeting aspects.
As four of the nine significant characteristics
were physical elements, having the right meet-
ing surroundings and environment seems to be
crucial. This aligns well with affective events
theory, which proposes that work environment
and events impact employee moods and emo-
tions (i.e., affect), which in turn influence work
attitudes and behaviors. Weiss and Cropanzano
(1996) stated that “overall, the evidence sug-
gests that a wide variety of environmental fac-
tors influence individual affect levels. By and
large, these operate in the background but it
seems clear that their consequences on organi-
zational behaviors as mediated by mood states,
are likely to be important” (p. 40). Our findings
concur, suggesting that the meeting environ-
ment has the potential to alter affect, which in
turn can lead to enhanced feelings of meeting
satisfaction. These positive physical environ-
ment characteristics may also increase meeting
focus by limiting the effect of distracting, un-
comfortable, or upsetting surroundings.
Our finding that the number of meeting at-
tendees has an inverse relationship with per-
ceived quality also fits with having the “right”
meeting environment. Meeting attendees them-
selves are part of the meeting environment, and
having too many or unnecessary attendees may
serve as a detraction, lead to additional ineffi-
ciencies, and in general create the feeling that
time is not being used effectively. Expectation
fulfillment is another trend seen throughout
these findings: PMQ is heightened by charac-
teristics that help set meeting expectations (i.e.,
premeeting agenda, meeting agreement), and
conversely, PMQ is lessened when attendee ex-
pectations about time (i.e., meeting start and
end times) are not met. Our finding that having
an agenda without premeeting access is no bet-
ter than not having an agenda at all further
supports the need to set expectations prior to the
meeting. Simply having a meeting guide or
agenda that does not allow for premeeting prep-
aration does not seem to add value.
Not all design characteristics, however, af-
fected attendee PMQ. One obvious explana-
tion is that some design characteristics may
simply be unimportant in determining meet-
ing outcomes (e.g., if the meeting was re-
corded electronically). Another is that some
design characteristics may not be important to
PMQ specifically but may impact other meet-
ing outcomes, such as meeting goal attain-
ment (e.g., meeting modality), or postmeeting
productivity (e.g., if minutes were taken).
Other design characteristics may only show
their impact through an interaction with an-
other design characteristic. We saw this result
with the use of a facilitator, which did not have
a direct effect on PMQ but did significantly
interact with the number of attendees. A final
reason for nonsignificance may be related to
how the design characteristics were measured;
we inquired whether or not a characteristic was
present, not how well it was integrated or used.
Several factors other than design characteris-
tics also showed significant relationships with
PMQ. Respondents who served as meeting fa-
cilitators and those in higher organizational po-
sitions provided higher PMQ ratings, suggest-
ing that employees in positions of power within
meetings find these meetings to be of higher
quality, whereas those not in positions of power
find them to be of lower quality. This self-
serving bias in perceiving activities for which
one is responsible to have greater effectiveness
is not surprising. Psychological research has
shown that it is a common bias to evaluate
100 COHEN, ROGELBERG, ALLEN, AND LUONG
subjective situations in a way favorable to one’s
own interests (Kruger, 1999; Roese & Olson,
2007), which here involves believing that a
meeting they facilitated was of a higher quality
than attendees without a self-interest in the
meeting quality. Given this apparent disparity in
PMQ, to more accurately assess their meeting’s
PMQ, meeting leaders may benefit from com-
municating with nonleader attendees to obtain a
more objective assessment of the meeting’s
quality. This is worth exploring in greater depth
in future research.
In summary, our pattern of significant and
nonsignificant findings suggests that individual
design characteristics have differential effects
on meeting attendees’ perceptions of meeting
quality. Furthermore, the results regarding
meeting size and presence of a facilitator indi-
cate that the effects of individual design char-
acteristics are not universal across all types of
meetings. Therefore, each meeting must be
evaluated individually in order to apply the
most effective design.
Practical Implications
Our study’s findings suggest that organiza-
tions would experience an increase in PMQ by
considering design characteristics both prior to
and during meetings. Prior to the meeting, meet-
ing organizers should carefully consider the list
of meeting attendees, and only attendees central
to the meeting’s purpose should be invited.
Once the attendee list is finalized, the organizer
should select an appropriately sized meeting
space given the number of attendees, the meet-
ing’s purpose, and the meeting’s technological
and practical needs (e.g., Is a computer projec-
tor or whiteboard necessary? Will any attendees
attend via a conference call?). The organizer
should also create an agenda and distribute it to
all attendees prior to the meeting to enable
attendees to prepare for the designated topics.
Lastly, the building facilities staff should con-
sistently evaluate each meeting room’s temper-
ature and lighting levels to ensure that they are
within desired parameters and will not ad-
versely affect employees’ ability to conduct
business.
At the start of the meeting, the meeting or-
ganizer should ensure that the meeting begins at
the predetermined start time, even if all attend-
ees have not yet arrived. If appropriate, bever-
ages, snacks, or a meal if the meeting is held
during a mealtime should be arranged in ad-
vance. If beverages or food are provided, at-
tendees should be allowed to serve themselves
before beginning the meeting so as to not dis-
tract from the meeting’s core purpose. Then, a
meeting agreement (this can be informal) that
addresses the meeting’s topical and behavioral
ground rules should be set forth. Lastly, the
meeting should end at or before the predeter-
mined end time.
Training should be provided to all employees
who either organize or attend meetings to help
ensure that these meeting design parameters are
meaningfully integrated into an organization’s
meeting process. Training should include the
fundamentals of how to incorporate these de-
sign characteristics into meetings as well as why
they are important and the potential benefits
employees and the business are likely to realize.
This procedure will increase the likelihood that
the new process will be understood, accepted,
and implemented by employees. Employees
who typically do not organize meetings but
attend meetings may receive a lighter version of
the training that focuses on the elements most
relevant to their role in meetings (e.g., arriving
promptly), as that will aid both the meeting
organizers in executing this new process as well
as the organization as a whole in bringing about
any culture changes that may be necessary.
Limitations and Future Research
A limitation of our study’s method was our
use of correlational analysis and the resulting
inability to draw causal conclusions. This could
be addressed by conducting future research us-
ing an experimental methodology, thus allow-
ing the direction of causality to be clearly iden-
tified. Furthermore, PMQ may change over
time. Future research may consider gathering
this rating both right after the meeting and at a
later date to further understand this possible
effect.
Another limitation of this study was that both
the predictor and outcome variables were mea-
sured using the same method; therefore, it is
possible that the results may at least partially be
a result of common method bias (CMB). Al-
though recent scholarship has suggested that the
impact of CMB is overstated (e.g., Conway &
Lance, 2010), it is important to note the follow-
101MEETING DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
ing. First, consistent with the reasoning of Frese
and Zapf (1988), we suggest that our predictors
were generally objective and thus not subject to
method bias. Second, our pattern of findings is
not suggestive of CMB. If CMB were at play,
one would expect all design characteristics to
be significantly related to the outcome vari-
able as well as a baseline level of correlation
among all variables assessed on the survey
(Spector, 2006). That was not the case, as we
had a plethora of significant and nonsignifi-
cant design factors. Lastly, according to Pod-
sakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, and Podsakoff
(2003), using a variety of scale formats and
endpoints, as we did in our study, can miti-
gate CMB. Still, future work will benefit from
alternative approaches for measuring design
characteristics (e.g., observation).
Low response rates are becoming more and
more the norm in applied survey research (An-
seel, Lievens, Schollaert, & Choragwicka,
2010); as our final response rate was
only 18.5%, there is the potential for nonre-
sponse bias. We would argue, however, that
based on several factors, this bias does not seem
to be at play. First, nonresponse bias is more
likely to impact measures of central tendency
and not bivariate relationships (Rogelberg et al.,
2003), and our dependent variable had a good
amount of variation with no evidence of range
restriction. Second, age and gender are often
predictors of nonresponse (Rogelberg & Stan-
ton, 2007), and neither was significantly related
to our dependent measure. Finally, our sample
was very diverse demographically (e.g., posi-
tion rank, length of employment, hours worked,
age, education level), and the pattern of results
was nearly the same for each of these partici-
pant breakouts.
Perceptions of meetings are but one meeting
outcome, and many others, such as actual effec-
tiveness and efficiency, exist. Although group
decision-making research has found that partic-
ipants’ perceptions of group performance are
useful indicators of actual group performance
(e.g., Rogelberg, Barnes-Farrell, & Lowe,
1992), actual meeting quality would have been
a valuable outcome to examine. Relatedly, de-
signing meetings as suggested here may im-
prove meeting perceptions, but the effect of
such designs on other meeting outcomes is yet
unknown. Furthermore, by improving one facet
of meeting outcomes (i.e., PMQ), other out-
comes (e.g., cohesion) may inadvertently be
affected either positively or negatively.
Conclusion
As discussed earlier, participants’ evaluation
of meeting quality is an important criterion vari-
able for a number of reasons. First, given the
number of meetings employees attend, affective
reactions to them are important to understand.
Second, how we perceive our environment
helps us form attitudes toward that environ-
ment, which in turn affects how we think about
and behave in that environment at present and in
the future. It follows that employee perceptions
of meetings can have important attitudinal and
behavioral implications as well, which can im-
pact how meetings are viewed, attended, used,
and supported, and can ultimately affect a meet-
ing’s ability to accomplish its goals. Therefore,
finding ways to provide meeting attendees with
more positive meeting experiences may have a
lasting effect that extends beyond the meeting at
hand.
Although future research is needed to sort out
the boundaries of our results, our findings have
the potential to energize new research on meet-
ings. In addition, our data have pragmatic value.
If an organization’s goal is to improve or pro-
mote meeting quality, this study’s results could
be quite useful. Admittedly, some design char-
acteristics are more challenging to control than
others (e.g., the only meeting space available
may be too small or too large); however, all are
potentially within the meeting organizer’s con-
trol, and as such, organizers should consider
these design characteristics when planning and
conducting staff/team meetings. Furthermore,
organizations should support employee efforts
to hold better designed meetings by ensuring
appropriate meeting space availability, em-
ployee training, and organizational culture
change.
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Accepted September 13, 2010
104 COHEN, ROGELBERG, ALLEN, AND LUONG
... As an extreme, unprecedented situation, the pandemic might have set the ground for 'Zoom fatigue' to emerge. Accordingly, employees' strain reactions (e.g., exhaustion) to video conferences may reflect not only objective meeting characteristics as suggested in the meeting literature (e.g., meeting duration; Cohen et al., 2011) but also stem from a unique set of experiences reflecting work during the pandemic. ...
... Identifying such characteristics will inform both theory and practice regarding how video conference meetings should be designed. By this, we also contribute to the meeting literature, assessing whether previous objective characteristics already identified as important (e.g., meeting size; Allen et al., 2020;Cohen et al., 2011) can be generalized to work during the pandemic. ...
... Meeting characteristics play an important role in meeting effectiveness (Leach et al., 2009;Standaert et al., 2021), employees' attitudes toward meetings (e.g., meeting satisfaction; Cohen et al., 2011;Rogelberg et al., 2010), and exhaustion following meetings (Luong & Rogelberg, 2005). However, whether objective video conference characteristics are important for strain responses attributed to them remains mainly unstudied (Wainfan & Davis, 2004). ...
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... The total squared jump value is the sum of all squared jump values. We also calculated the same indicators vis-a-vis the total number of Current (Cohen et al., 2011), leading to the following six possible process quality indicators: ...
... Thus, a KE group should, based on an open dialogue, reach phase results everyone can support and avoid jumping overly among the phases, for instance, by questioning the problem definition again when the group has progressed into the brainstorming phase. Such jumping may be perceived by some group members as setbacks, which are seen to affect group dynamics negatively, including creativity (Cohen et al., 2011) and motivation (Marks et al., 2001). Group consensus seems especially important in the problem definition and root-cause analysis phases. ...
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... Constructs overlapping with psychological safety (e.g., "interpersonal dynamics") can be found in studies framed in reference to "the science of meetings" (Allen et al., 2015;Rogelberg, 2019), with ensuing diagnostic tools (e.g., Hoffman, 2018;Rogelberg, 2019). Conducted in nonunion environments, this research is comprehensive and includes many constructs that focus on meeting design variables positioned as predictors of meeting success (e.g., Allen et al., 2018;Cohen et al., 2011;Leach et al., 2009;Rogelberg et al., 2014). A sample of such predictors linked to success are meeting composition (only critical personnel should be included at meetings; no one who need not be included should be invited), meeting lateness (chronic lateness to meetings should not be tolerated by attendees; meetings should start and end on times announced in advance of a meeting), meeting agenda (an agenda with stated meeting goals should be distributed to attendees in advance of a meeting along with necessary tools and materials), leader preparedness (leaders should be fully prepared to stick to the meeting agenda, instrumentally guiding attendees to stay on topic), and meeting summary (meetings should end with decision summaries that include when and by whom follow-up work can be expected). ...
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We take a psychological view of local union meetings in reference to the problem of chronic low meeting attendance. This view suggests that local meetings are designed to encourage employees to experience safe environments in which they can strive to fulfill psychological needs, examples of which include a need to voice concerns and opinions, a need to participate in decision-making, and a need to be counted as a valued contributor to “our collective effort.” As such, we constructed a model to predict likely meeting attendance informed by literatures on team effectiveness, meeting design, and union participation. Extracting relationships from the cited literature relevant to local meetings, we positioned psychological safety experienced at meetings as a predictor of likely attendance in the next 12 months, with meeting effectiveness as rated by attending employees positioned as a mediator of the relationship. A test of the mediated model based on data collected from employees in 20 unions and 42 locals (N = 132) suggested support for the model, in which the effect of psychological safety on likely attendance was shown to unfold through meeting effectiveness. Future models of local attendance are discussed and an intervention aimed at solving the attendance problem is suggested.
... The literature does, however, help us interpret our findings. For example, despite the potential drawbacks of large meetings or emails with many recipients, these forms of communication practices may help synchronize how information is shared Cohen et al., 2011;Mroz et al., 2018). Furthermore, expanding the number of email recipients and meeting attendees increases the likelihood that important information is received by all relevant individuals in an organization (Skovholt and Svennevig, 2006). ...
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... In reviewing the existing meeting science landscape, initial attempts have been made to summarize evidence-based recommendations for meeting design characteristics that contribute towards successful meetings (Lehmann-Willenbrock et al., 2018;Mroz et al., 2018). Meeting design can encompass physical (e.g., lighting, room temperature), temporal (e.g., meeting length, promptness of meeting start and end), procedural (e.g., using an agenda, taking minutes), and attendee (e.g., inviting only those participants who have expertise relevant to the meeting, having a meeting facilitator) characteristics that can influence meeting satisfaction and effectiveness (Cohen et al., 2011;Leach et al., 2009;Odermatt et al., 2015). It seems likely that a poorly designed meeting would provoke the occurrence of a MATM. ...
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... In their review, they examined the effects of meeting design characteristics related to meetings' perceived effectiveness (i.e., a meeting's participants' perception of an effective meeting) and conclude that a low meeting quality is often attributed to poorly planned and poorly led meetings. The most common meeting characteristic is the use of agendas [48]. To be more efficient, an agenda should be disseminated before the meeting, as this allows attendees to make additions to it and to prepare for the meeting [49]. ...
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While research on the sustainable built environment has acknowledged the need to integrate multidisciplinary perspectives in the early planning phases, few studies have focused on early-phase meetings and how these can support such co-creation of sustainability. In this study, a set of “characteristics” for collaborative meetings integrating multidisciplinary perspectives was tested in 16 meetings that took place in the early phase. An action research insider perspective was used, where a researcher was also the facilitator of these 16 meetings. The cases provide insights into the early-phase processes where the building industry can achieve sustainable impacts on the built environment. This was exemplified by two of the cases becoming demonstration projects in terms of sustainability. Empirical material was gathered through discussions and surveys with meeting participants and was analyzed through the lens of the meeting design characteristics. The findings show that processes with ‘soft’ interpersonal characteristics (expressing emotions, tempo change during dialogue, engaging in social interaction, moving the body) support the development of a shared understanding of sustainability that integrates multidisciplinary perspectives. For larger groups and in digital meetings, a combination of ‘soft’ (interpersonal) and ‘hard’ (digital communication tools and platforms) characteristics were found to be supportive, especially when the meeting time was limited. This research suggests a revision of the design of multidisciplinary early-phase meetings towards including social, emotional, bodily, and collaborative exercises supported by digital tools.
... The convenience sampling method was chosen on the grounds of proximity and affordability. Purposive sampling allowed handpicking potential respondents to be included in the sample based on their possession of particular characteristics being sought (Cohen et al., 2017;Cohen et al., 2011). Participants who were perceived to have relevant information were selected for the study. ...
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Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is arguably the sector closely connected to industry and employers. The development of the South African economy partly hinged on individuals with both technical and soft skills that are needed by industry. Against this backdrop, sufficiently prepared TVET engineering graduates are an important resource for industry development. However, employees note that the TVET sector does not address the skills needs of industry. Addressing the skills needs of industry is critical for the South African economy. This study seeks to explore employer perceptions on sustainable employability skills for TVET engineering graduates in industry and develop appropriate strategies for addressing the industry needs in the context of South Africa. The study adopted a qualitative case study approach in which semi-structured interviews were used to collect empirical evidence from a conveniently and purposively selected sample of twelve (12) employers from industry. The human capital theory constitutes the theoretical framework of the study. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings revealed that employers needed graduates with both technical and soft skills for sustainable employability. TVET engineering graduates fall short of the skills required by industry. The study recommends strong emphasis on career guidance and development to help programme selection. Furthermore, misalignment of skills could be curbed by ensuring strong ties and communication among role players. A revision on the curriculum was necessary to align with the new technology and address the industry needs.Further studies could focus on how companies could be lured to collaborate with TVET Colleges so that their training becomes a meaningful and empowering experience.Future research could also focus on the relevance of the TVET curriculum to industry needs.
... Meeting effectiveness. We measured perceived meeting effectiveness with a 10-item scale by Cohen et al. (2011). Participants rated words and phrases such as efficient, waste of time, and unsuccessful to describe their last meeting. ...
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Meeting lateness—that is, meetings starting past the pre-scheduled time—can be viewed as a disruption to the temporal pacing of work. Previous research in the United States indicates that late meetings produce less optimal outcomes, but empirical insights concerning the extent to which experiences of meeting lateness are similar or different across different cultures remain sparse. While prior work suggests differences in how individuals from different cultures experience time-related phenomena, globalization trends suggest increasing similarities in employees’ work experiences, and potentially similar experiences of meeting lateness across different cultural settings. We explore this idea in a cross-cultural study of meeting lateness in China, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States. We empirically establish the cross-cultural relevance of meeting lateness and their generally negative outcome. We show how meeting lateness relates to perceptions of impaired meeting processes, meeting outcomes, and group-related attitudes across cultures. We discuss these findings in light of extending meeting science to different cultures as well as contributions to the debate between cross-cultural differences versus globalization tendencies.
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Meetings are a central fact of organizational life. As a vehicle for communication, they can be extremely valuable mechanisms for disseminating vision, crafting strategic plans, and developing responses to challenges and opportunities. They can also be helpful for gathering ideas, brainstorming, and generating higher levels of employee involvement. But too many meetings are seen as a waste of time - as a source of frustration rather than enlightenment. The authors explore some basic questions: How much time do people really spend in meetings? Are employees burning out from meeting overload? To what extent do people consider their time in meetings unproductive? And how can companies use meeting time better? To answer these questions, they look at a variety of sources: research and application literature; their own experiences working with clients; and data from two multinational studies of employees (including one that provided the basis of an article titled "'Not Another Meeting!'Are Meeting Time Demands Related to Employee Well-Being?" Journal of Applied Psychology 91, no. 1 (2006): 86-96, by Rogelberg, Leach, Warr and Burnfield). Based on these inquiries, they offer insights into the world of meetings and how organizations can use them more effectively.
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Students need to understand how the interplay of ideas, personalities, and environment-the ecology-of a meeting contributes to productivity and satis faction in group process. Only when the ecology is right can the meeting work. To address that ecology explicitly, instructors should help students assess their prior experience in small groups. In a classroom exercise, student teams answer one of a set of questions about meetings: 1. How participants know when a meeting is productive (or not); 2. How they know when warm hospi tality has been extended (or not); 3. What happens before, during, and after meetings that generates broad enthusiasm—or produces apathy. A class period spent on such discussion helps convince students of the need to proactively apply effective meeting management principles in their own workplace. Key words: Group process, meetings, participation, hospitality, enthusiasm
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This article studies population profiling to create a comprehensive attitudinal and personality profile of actual nonrespondents to a common organizational survey used in higher education institutions. Population profiling represents a nearly ideal way of studying nonresponse. Practically, it could only be implemented in limited and unique circumstances, a controlled field experiment involving some deception. The approach involves creating an archival database on an organizational stakeholder group that contains attitude and personality information along with personal identifiers. The database further contains information on these individuals' intentions to participate in upcoming survey work. Because the archival database contains identifiers, future surveys can be administered with code numbers linking back to the identifiers. Therefore, the organizational researcher can determine who does not return the survey by tabulating the code numbers. Respondents and nonrespondents to these subsequent surveys can then be compared on the comprehensive information contained in the archival database. Importantly, because the archival database contains information pertaining to individuals' intentions to participate in the survey work that was actually conducted, classes of nonrespondents can be studied.
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Group decision support systems (GDSS) offer the potential to increase the effectiveness of quality improvement methods by providing an automated means to gather, record, and act on ideas during meetings. This meeting method can save organizations a substantial amount of time and improve information gathering. Among other benefits include anonymity, parallel communication, and automated record keeping.
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Interest in the problem of method biases has a long history in the behavioral sciences. Despite this, a comprehensive summary of the potential sources of method biases and how to control for them does not exist. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which method biases influence behavioral research results, identify potential sources of method biases, discuss the cognitive processes through which method biases influence responses to measures, evaluate the many different procedural and statistical techniques that can be used to control method biases, and provide recommendations for how to select appropriate procedural and statistical remedies for different types of research settings.
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