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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Keyton, Joann 2017. The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication. p. 1.

    Zoethout, Hildert Wesselink, Renate Runhaar, Piety and Mulder, Martin 2017. Using Transactivity to Understand Emergence of Team Learning. Small Group Research, Vol. 48, Issue. 2, p. 190.

    Niemantsverdriet, Karin and Erickson, Thomas 2017. Recurring Meetings. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 1, Issue. CSCW, p. 1.

    Mroz, Joseph E. Allen, Joseph A. Verhoeven, Dana C. and Shuffler, Marissa L. 2018. Do We Really Need Another Meeting? The Science of Workplace Meetings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 27, Issue. 6, p. 484.

    Åkerström, Malin 2019. The Merry-Go-Round of Meetings: Embracing Meetings in a Swedish Youth Care Project. Sociological Focus, Vol. 52, Issue. 1, p. 50.

  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: August 2015

3 - Five Theoretical Lenses for Conceptualizing the Role of Meetings in Organizational Life

from Part I - Introduction



Although work meetings remain an enduring and commonplace organizational communication activity, scholars have only recently begun to theorize the meeting as a phenomenon unto itself. When meetings have been studied, they have usually been analyzed as settings for the exploration of other phenomena. Recent research that examines meetings addresses a broad range of issues, but often leaves theoretical questions and assumptions regarding the nature of meeting communication itself and the role of meetings in shaping organizational life underspecified or completely unarticulated. What are meetings really? Why should practitioners and scholars see them as more significant than any other organizational phenomenon? Why should they believe that work meetings actually play an important role in shaping (i.e., rather than merely reflecting) larger attitudes and perceptions about organizations and the individuals who facilitate and participate in them? This chapter presents a set of metaphors that capture the various ways in which meetings are approached in contemporary research. Each metaphor reflects and sustains distinct assumptions about what meetings are, what role they play in organizational life, and the manner in which they constitute organizations. We argue that meeting science should deploy both practical and theoretical assumptions that position meetings as generative activities through which groups and organizations are constituted and sustained. The chapter also describes related directions for future research that would add to our understanding of the various ways that meeting communication shapes individual and organizational outcomes.

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