Team Meeting Attitudes

Thomas A. O’Neill, University of Calgary, and Natalie J. Allen, University of Western Ontario, published “Team Meeting Attitudes: Conceptualization and Investigation of a New Construct” on November 21st, 2011 in Small Group Research. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here. Professor O’Neill kindly provided the following responses to the article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

We wrote this article for researchers and practitioners who are interested in team effectiveness. More specifically, our aim was to report on the interplay of team members’ attitudes toward team meetings (i.e., team meeting attitudes), team meeting effectiveness, team confidence, and team performance.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Our interest in this topic was driven by our theory that individuals likely have relatively stable attitudes toward team meetings. Importantly, we see these attitudes as unique because they are likely different from an individual’s attitudes about meetings in general.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Our biggest surprise was perhaps the power of team meeting attitudes to explain meeting related behavior, such as meeting effectiveness and time spent in meetings, as well as their indirect association with team task performance through increased team confidence.  In essence, team meeting attitudes matter!

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

Our hope is that researchers will be inspired to further elaborate on our initial conceptualization of team meeting attitudes. For example, should this construct be considered unidimensional or are there multiple dimensions of this construct that could help us better understand what aspects of meetings individuals like and dislike (e.g., attitudes toward making decisions in meetings versus doing substantive task work in meetings)? Practically, it is too early to make staffing decisions based on this research but we believe that tried-and-true meeting best practices, such as using an agenda and starting the meeting on time, are essential for sound team functioning and would be helpful for many teams – and might even improve the TMA of some members. Finally, as we note in the paper, all else being equal, if we were given a choice between a team member who values team meetings versus one did not, our evidence supports selecting the first one.

How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

We are interested in the general question that many team researchers address — what characterizes effective teams?  Our findings suggest that teams made up of members with positive attitudes toward team meetings are likely to hold more effective meetings, meet for longer durations of time, and achieve higher performance through greater team confidence.

How did your paper change during the review process?

The largest change was the suggestion from the editor and reviewers to add a more complete treatment of how team meeting attitudes develop over time. We feel this addition greatly improved the contribution of the article, and we are grateful to the editor and reviewers for this, and other, suggestions.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could go back and do this study again?

Administer longer surveys!

To learn more about Small Group Research, please click here.

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