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Meeting Performance and Group Dynamics ETM5361/MSIS5600 Managing Virtual Project Teams. Nicholas C. Romano, Jr., Ph.D. [email protected] Paul E. Rossler, Ph.D., P.E. [email protected] Overview. How efficient and effective are most meetings?

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Meeting performance and group dynamics etm5361 msis5600 managing virtual project teams l.jpg

Meeting Performance and Group DynamicsETM5361/MSIS5600Managing Virtual Project Teams

Nicholas C. Romano, Jr., Ph.D.

[email protected] E. Rossler, Ph.D., P.E.

[email protected]


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Overview

  • How efficient and effective are most meetings?

  • Has meeting performance improved over time with the availability of technology?

  • What are the causes of poor meetings?

  • What tendencies do groups exhibit?


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Meeting analysis: Findings from research and practice

  • Why consider meetings in virtual teaming?

  • Defining meetings

  • Meeting productivity metrics

Romano, N. C., & Nunamaker, J. F. 2001. Meeting analysis: Findings from research and practice. Paper presented at the Proceedings of 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.


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Why consider meetings in virtual teaming?

Research and practice illustrate that meetings:

  • Are essential for accomplishing work

  • Dominate employees’ and managers’ time

  • Are considered costly, unproductive, dissatisfying

  • Are steadily increasing in number and length


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"Almost every time there is a genuinely important decision to be made in an organization, a group is assigned to make it -- or at least to counsel and advise the individual who must make it."

-Hackman


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"We meet because people holding different jobs have to cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”

- Peter Drucker (1967)


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Meetings do not go away in virtual teaming cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”

We need to understand today’s meetings as thoroughly as possible in order to move toward collaborating in a virtual world

One way to do this is through Meeting Productivity Metrics


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Existing meeting productivity metrics cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”

  • Types

  • Purposes

  • Time

  • Number

  • Cost

  • Efficiency

  • Problems


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Types of meetings in Corporate America cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”

45% Staff

22% Task

21% Information Sharing

5% Brainstorming

2% Ceremonial

5% Other

Based on 903 meetings (Monge, P. R., McSween, C., & Wyer, J. 1989)


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Meeting purposes: 66% involve complex group processes cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”

(Monge, P. R., McSween, C., & Wyer, J. 1989)


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Time spent in meetings cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”shows an upward trend

1960’s: Average Exec. 3 1/2 hrs/wk (~3-4 Meetings) Additional time in informal meetings (Tillman, 1960)


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1970’s: Average Exec. cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”6-7/wk (~2x 1960’s Study - Rice, 1973)

Managers up to 60% of their time. (Mintzberg, 1973)Program managers up to 80% of their time.Middle managers 3 or 4 full days a week.Some 8 straight hours in one meeting. (Van de Ven, 1973)


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1980’s: Typical middle managers cooperate to get a specific task done. We meet because the knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people.”~35% of their work week. Top mangers 50% of their time. (Doyle, 1982) Typical managers up to 80% of their time. (Monge, 1989)Average technical professional/manager 1/4 work week.Top and middle managers 2 days/week.Executive managers 4 days/week. (Mosvick, 1987)


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Mosvick (1982, 1986) in 2 studies over a 5 year period of 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad Major finding: "a notable shift toward an increase in the number and length of meetings with an increasingly high level of dissatisfaction with meetings."


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Reported length of meetings: 51% between 30 and 90 minutes 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

(Monge, P. R., McSween, C., & Wyer, J. 1989)


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Time spent in meetings 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad shows an upward trend (cont’d.)

Up to 20% of a manager’s work day is spent in conference room meetings. (Panko, 1992) Managers spend ~ 20% of their work day in 5 person or largerformal meetings and as much as 85% of their time communicating. (Panko, 1994)


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Meeting frequency is increasing 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

Fortune 500 companies hold between 11 to 15 million formal meetings/day and 3 to 4 billion meetings/year(Doyle, 1982; Monge, 1989)

A 1997 survey found that 24% of respondents expect to hold more meetings in 1998 and 85% predict the same length or longer meetings


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Meeting costs 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

The 3M Meeting Productivity Study and Harrison Hofstra Study found that…

  • 11-15 Million formal meetings / day

  • ? Million informal meetings / day

  • 3-4 Billion meetings / year

  • 30-80% Manager’s time in teamwork

  • 7-15% of personnel budgets on teamwork

  • $ billions of spent each year


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Meeting efficiency 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

On average, by managerial function,

33% of meeting time is unproductive (Sheridan, 1989)


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Meeting problems: Agenda (or lack thereof) 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

No goals or agenda – 2nd most commonly reported problem (Mosvick, 1987) ~ 50% had no written agenda;

However 73% of respondents felt an agenda is "essential" for a productive meeting. (Burleson, 1990; Sheridan, 1989 - Harrison-Hofstra Survey)


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32% No stated agenda 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad 17% Prior Verbal agendas 9% Written agendas distributed at start 29% Prior written agendas (Monge, 1989)


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Workers express the desire to work in groups 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

3 year survey of 10,277 U.S. workers from all levels of employment that 97% reported they needed conditions that encourage collaboration to do their best work. (Hall, 1994)


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A recent survey of executives found that… 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

43% of them admitted dozing off at least once during a meetingThe majority concluded that 20-30% of meetings were unnecessary

(Erickson, 1998)


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Findings 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

Decades of study show that meetings dominate workers’ and managers’ time and yet are considered to be costly, unproductive and dissatisfying.

Yet meetings are essential, because no one person has the knowledge, insight, skills and experience to do the job alone. (Erickson, 1998)


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Look who’s talking 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

  • Traditional Teamwork

    • Boss talked 33% of time

    • Next person 22%

  • Technology Supported Teamwork

    • Boss talked 5 %

    • Next person 8%

Source: Romano


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A quick review of difficulties with groups 950 junior-senior managers and technical professionals in large-scale technology-intensive industries U.S. and abroad

  • Some tasks are simply not well suited for group methods or processes

  • Often develop preferred ways of looking at problems that can inhibit innovation

  • Synergistic effect can be absent

    • For example, brainstorming doesn’t exceed performance of individually produced and combined results


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  • Strongly influenced by cultural norms respect to quality of solutions accepted

    • In natural groups, members tend to be conservative, circumspect

  • If the group’s efforts do not appear reinforced, effort is reduced

  • As group size increases, effort contributed by each individual member tends to decrease


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  • Reliably exhibit norms against devoting time to planning their methods

    • Move immediately to attacking problem, relying on implicitly shared methods

    • Considerable likelihood that method is poorly adapted to task and only modestly effective

    • Seldom have ability to change the method when things not going well


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Effective use of roles and process help direct dynamics their methods

  • Group process management roles

  • Group process member roles

    • Task

    • Maintenance

    • Non-productive

  • Group process communication patterns

  • Team member roles


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An input-process-output model of teamwork their methods

Group

Task

Process

Outcome

Context

Technology

(Source: Doug Vogel)


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Process gains their methods

  • More information

  • Synergy

  • More objective evaluation

  • Stimulation (encouragement)

  • Learning

Source: Nunamaker, J.F., R.O. Briggs, and D.D. Mittleman, Electronic meeting systems: Ten years of lessons learned, in Groupware: Technology and applications, D. Coleman and R. Khanna, Editors. 1995, Prentice-Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ. p. 149-193.


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Air time fragmentation their methods

Attenuation blocking

Concentration blocking

Attention blocking

Failure to remember

Conformance pressure

Evaluation apprehension

Free riding

Cognitive inertia

Socializing

Domination

Information overload

Coordination problems

Incomplete use of information

Incomplete task analysis

Process losses

Source: Nunamaker, J.F., R.O. Briggs, and D.D. Mittleman


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Common process losses their methods






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Process oriented model of virtual teamwork their methods

Social Interactions and Dynamics

GSS

Structures

Meeting Outcomes

Time

Reinig, B. A., & Shin, B. 2002. The dynamic effects of group support systems on group meetings. Journal of Management Information Systems, 19(2): 303-325.


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Evaluation Apprehension (?) their methods

Hypothesized relationships

-

-

Production Blocking

Group Cohesion

+

-

-

Time Period

Free Riding

Self-Reported Learning

GSS

+

-

Sucker Effect

Affective Reward

-

+

Source: Reinig, B. A., & Shin, B. 2002.


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Some (preliminary) findings their methods

-

-

Production Blocking

Group Cohesion

+

-

-

-

Time Period

Free Riding

Self-Reported Learning

GSS

+

+

-

-

Sucker Effect

Affective Reward

-

+

+

Source: Reinig, B. A., & Shin, B. 2002.


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Summary their methods

  • Most meetings are not efficient or effective

    • And the increased availability of technology hasn’t helped reverse this trend

  • Unmanaged group dynamics seem to contribute to this inefficiency and ineffectiveness

  • Structure and process play important role in virtual team meeting performance

  • Group support systems help to mitigate or reduce the negative affect of process losses on performance


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