Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: August 2015

9 - Meetings All over the World

from Macro Meeting Context



Previous research on work meetings has mainly been conducted in the Anglo-Saxon context. In this chapter, we add an international perspective that addresses this question: Does the national context of the meeting influence how it is structured and perceived? We provide a descriptive-comparative empirical analysis of differences and commonalities in both structural (i.e., size, length, frequency, lateness, the use of an agenda, and action points) and psychological (i.e., participation, satisfaction, and mood) meeting characteristics. Our analysis is based on a survey study with 710 participants from 45 countries. We first provide a comparison using a framework that classifies cultures according to the dimensions of space, time, and context using seven country clusters identified in the GLOBE study: Anglo (n = 91), Confucian Asia (n = 94), Eastern Europe (n = 242), Germanic Europe (n = 136), Latin Europe (n = 37), Middle East (n = 33), and Northern Europe (n = 70). We found important similarities, but also noteworthy differences in work meetings between locations. We discuss the emerging profile of cross-cultural meeting similarities and differences in light of their theoretical and managerial implications and provide ideas for future research on meetings across cultures.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Allen, J. A., & Rogelberg, S. G. (2013). Manager-led group meetings A context for promoting employee engagement. Group & Organization Management, 38, 543569. doi:10.1177/1059601113503040
Bonsang, E., & Van Soest, A. (2012). Satisfaction with job and income among older individuals across European countries. Social Indicators Research, 105, 227254. doi:10.1007/s11205–011–9879–5
Bouncken, R. B. (2004). Cultural diversity in entrepreneurial teams: Findings of new ventures in Germany. Creativity and Innovation Management, 13, 240253. doi:10.1111/j.0963–1690.2004.00313.x
Bouncken, R. B., & Winkler, V. A. (2010). National and cultural diversity in transnational innovation teams. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 22, 133151. doi:10.1080/09537320903498470
Cohen, M. A., Rogelberg, S. G., Allen, J. A., & Luong, A. (2011). Meeting design characteristics and attendee perceptions of staff/team meeting quality. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 15, 90104. doi:10.1037/a0021549
Connaughton, S. L., & Shuffler, M. (2007). Multinational and multicultural distributed teams. Small Group Research, 38, 387412. doi:10.1177/1046496407301970
Cook, P., Ellis, C., Graf, M., Rein, G., & Smith, T. (1987). Project Nick: Meetings augmentation and analysis. ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), 5, 132146. doi:10.1145/27636.27638
Dekker, D. M., Rutte, C. G., & Van den Berg, P. T. (2008). Cultural differences in the perception of critical interaction behaviors in global virtual teams. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32, 441452. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2008.06.003
Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 3443. doi:10.1037/0003–066X.55.1.34
Elsayed-Elkhouly, S. M., Lazarus, H., & Forsythe, V. (1997). Why is a third of your time wasted in meetings? Journal of Management Development, 16, 672676. doi:10.1108/02621719710190185
Gelfand, M. J., Erez, M., & Aycan, Z. (2007). Cross-cultural organizational behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 479514. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085559
Gupta, V., Hanges, P. J., & Dorfman, P. (2002). Cultural clusters: Methodology and findings. Journal of World Business, 37, 1115. doi:10.1016/S1090–9516(01)00070–0
Hall, E. T. (1983). The dance of life: The other dimension of time. New York, NY: Anchor.
Hamamura, T., Meijer, Z., Heine, S. J., Kamaya, K., & Hori, I. (2009). Approach–avoidance motivation and information processing: A cross-cultural analysis. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 454462. doi:10.1177/0146167208329512; 10.1177/0146167208329512
Harzing, A. (2006). Response styles in cross-national survey research A 26-country study. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 6, 243266. doi:10.1177/1470595806066332
Hofstede, G. H. (1980). Motivation, leadership, and organization: Do American theories apply abroad? Organizational Dynamics, 9, 4263. doi:10.1016/0090–2616(80)90013–3
Hofstede, G. H. (2001). Culture's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Holtbrügge, D., Weldon, A., & Rogers, H. (2013). Cultural determinants of email communication styles. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 13, 89110. doi:10.1177/1470595812452638
House, R., Hanges, P., Javidan, M., Dorfman, , & Gupta, , (2004). Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE studies of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
House, R., Javidan, M., Hanges, P., & Dorfman, P. (2002). Understanding cultures and implicit leadership theories across the globe: An introduction to Project GLOBE. Journal of World Business, 37, 310. doi:10.1016/S1090–9516(01)00069–4
Kauffeld, S., & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2012). Meetings matter: Effects of team meetings on team and organizational success. Small Group Research, 43, 130158. doi:10.1177/1046496411429599
Kemp, L. J., & Williams, P. (2013). In their own time and space: Meeting behaviour in the Gulf Arab workplace. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 13, 215235. doi:10.1177/1470595813485383
Kittler, M. G., Rygl, D., & Mackinnon, A. (2011). Special review article: Beyond culture or beyond control? Reviewing the use of Hall's high-/low-context concept. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 11, 6382. doi:10.1177/1470595811398797
Köhler, T., Cramton, C. D., & Hinds, P. J. (2012). The meeting genre across cultures insights from three German–American collaborations. Small Group Research, 43, 159185. doi:10.1177/1046496411429600
Kozlowski, S. W. J., & Bell, B. S. (2003). Work groups and teams in organizations. In Borman, W. C., Ilgen, D. R., & Klimoski, R. J. (Eds.), Handbook of psychology, Vol. 12: Industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 333375). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
Leach, D. J., Rogelberg, S. G., Warr, P. B., & Burnfield, J. L. (2009). Perceived meeting effectiveness: The role of design characteristics. Journal of Business and Psychology, 24, 6576. doi:10.1007/s10869–009–9092–6
Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J. A., & Meinecke, A. L. (2013). Observing culture: Differences in US-American and German team meeting behaviors. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 17, 252271. doi:1368430213497066.
LePine, J. A., Piccolo, R. F., Jackson, C. L., Mathieu, J. E., & Saul, J. R. (2008). A meta-analysis of teamwork processes: Tests of a multidimensional model and relationships with team effectiveness criteria. Personnel Psychology, 61, 273307. doi:10.1111/j.1744–6570.2008.00114.x
Luong, A., & Rogelberg, S. G. (2005). Meetings and more meetings: The relationship between meeting load and the daily well-being of employees. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 9, 5867. doi:10.1037/1089–2699.9.1.58
Peng, K., Nisbett, R. E., & Wong, N. Y. C. (1997). Validity problems comparing values across cultures and possible solutions. Psychological Methods, 2, 329344. doi:10.1037/1082–989X.2.4.329
Reinecke, K., Nguyen, M. K., Bernstein, A., Näf, M., & Gajos, K. Z. (2013). Doodle around the world: Online scheduling behavior reflects cultural differences in time perception and group decision-making. Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 4554. doi:10.1145/2441776.2441784
Rogelberg, S. G. (2007). Meetings at work. In Rogelberg, S. G. (Ed.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 474475). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rogelberg, S. G., Allen, J. A., Shanock, L., Scott, C., & Shuffler, M. (2010). Employee satisfaction with meetings: A contemporary facet of job satisfaction. Human Resource Management, 49, 149172. doi:10.1002/hrm.20339
Rogelberg, S. G., Leach, D. J., Warr, P. B., & Burnfield, J. L. (2006). “Not another meeting!” Are meeting time demands related to employee well-being?. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 8389. doi:10.1037/0021–9010.91.1.83
Rogelberg, S. G., Scott, C. W., Agypt, B., Williams, J., Kello, J. E., McCausland, T., & Olien, J. L. (2014). Lateness to meetings: Examination of an unexplored temporal phenomenon. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23, 323341. doi: 10.1080/1359432X.2012.745988
Rogelberg, S. G., Shanock, L. R., & Scott, C. W. (2012). Wasted time and money in meetings: Increasing return on investment. Small Group Research, 43, 236245. doi: 10.1177/1046496411429170
Rogerson-Revell, P. (2008). Participation and performance in international business meetings. English for Specific Purposes, 27, 338360. doi: doi:10.1016/j.esp.2008.02.003
Romano, N. C., & Nunamaker, J. F. Jr. (2001). Meeting analysis: Findings from research and practice. Paper presented at the 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Maui.
Sagie, A., & Aycan, Z. (2003). A cross-cultural analysis of participative decision-making in organizations. Human Relations, 56, 453473. doi:10.1177/0018726703056004003
Schwartzman, H. B. (1986). The meeting as a neglected social form in organizational studies. Research in Organizational Behavior, 8, 233258.
Scott, C. W., Shanock, L. R., & Rogelberg, S. G. (2012). Meetings at work: Advancing the theory and practice of meetings. Small Group Research, 43, 127129. doi:10.1177/1046496411429023
Spector, P. E., Allen, T. D., Poelmans, S. A., Lapierre, L. M., Cooper, C. L, O'Driscoll, M.,…Widerszal-Bazyl, M. (2007). Cross-national differences in relationships of work demands, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions with work–family conflict. Personnel Psychology, 60, 805835. doi:10.1111/j.1744–6570.2007.00092.x
Tobia, P. M., & Becker, M. C. (1990). Making the most of meeting time. Training and Development Journal, 44, 3440.
Van Vree, W. (1999). Meetings, manners, and civilization: The development of modern meeting behavior. London, UK: Leicester University Press.
Van Vree, W. (2002). The development of meeting behaviour in modern organizations and the rise of an upper class of professional chairpersons. In van Iterson, A. (Ed.), The civilized organization: Norbert Elias and the future of organization studies (Vol. 10, pp. 1324). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.
Warner-Søderholm, G. (2013). Beyond a literature review of Hall's context dimension: Scale development, validation and empirical findings within a Norwegian study. International Journal of Business & Management, 8, 2740. doi:10.5539/ijbm.v8n10p27
Warr, P. (1990). The measurement of well-being and other aspects of mental health. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63(3), 193210. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8325.1990.tb00521.x
Weiss, H. M., & Cropanzano, R. (1996). Affective events theory: A theoretical discussion of the structure, causes and consequences of affective experiences at work. In Staw, B. M. & Cummings, L. L. (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior: An annual series of analytical essays and critical reviews (Vol. 18, pp. 174). New York, NY: Elsevier .
Williams, C., & Eerde, W. van. (2011). A time-use perspective on entrepreneurial initiatives in the multinational corporation. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Meeting, August 8–11, San Antonio, TX.