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

11 - A Systemic View of Meetings

from Macro Meeting Context

Summary

Abstract

Treating meetings collectively as a unit of analysis enables a holistic view of their theoretical foundations, their practical operation, and potential contribution to organizations. We draw on concepts from systems and process thinking, sensemaking and sensegiving, and organizational collective mind to inform a systemic conceptualization of organizational meetings. A systemic conceptualization of organizational meetings sees meetings as interconnected elements in an ongoing process of organizational sensemaking, rather than as discrete or isolated events. Using data from more than 60 meetings in one organization, we develop a systemic meetings model incorporating retrospective and prehensive sensemaking as the principal categories of connections between past, present, and future meetings. A systemic perspective on meetings views them not only as an integrated whole but also as a process of connected events unfolding in time. The emergent organizational process is termed “collective minding,” requiring greater mindfulness of how meetings are deployed and increased heedfulness of how they are interconnected in practice. Collective minding accounts for how meetings systemically manifest, contribute to, and sustain collective mind over time in organizations.

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The Cambridge Handbook of Meeting Science
  • Online ISBN: 9781107589735
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107589735
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