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Business and Management.
Guided by a systemic and processual perspective, this research considers meetings as a collective organizational phenomenon and analyses how they contribute to the constitution of organizations. Longitudinal immersion as a participant observer in one organization's 'river of discourse' prompted initial abductive theory development to conceptualize meetings as a collective phenomenon, rather than studying them as individual-centered events. Preliminary analysis conducted during data recording indicated collective agency that could not be attributed to individual meetings, nor to the intentionality of meeting participants. Subsequent bifocal analysis of the meetings' discourse data reveals modes of meeting connectivity that reflect and contribute to their holistic nature and their agency collectively. Following a zoomed-out analysis informed by sensemaking and a zoomed-in analysis guided by CCO theory, the research findings indicate that meetings collectively exhibit agency through the hybridicity of three distinct modes of connection -human actors, material artefacts and shared processes - which are reflected in the Meetings as Systemic Process (MaSP) framework. The findings also indicate that meetings impact the temporal
structuring of the organization and form organizational building blocks with the potential to be deployed as a collective and shared organizational resource. Implications for meeting practice are deduced from MaSP, proposing ways to refine the operation of meetings as a collective organizational resource, mindful that proposed normative practices and their expected benefits can only be verified through further research.
Duffy, M. (2016). The Agency of Meetings as Systemic Process in the Constitution of Organizations: Insights from a Longitudinal Study and Bifocal Analysis of an Organizations Meetings. Doctoral Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology. doi:10.21427/D7R88T