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Meeting governance: the enactment of social skill in inter-organizational meetings

Final Report Summary - MEETGOV (Meeting governance: the enactment of social skill in inter-organizational meetings)

The focus of this project was to show how a specific social skill – an ability to induce cooperation in others – is enacted in inter-organizational meetings. It has been studied through video recording of a series of meetings in different contexts, and analysing the recordings using a combination of conversation analysis and narrative analysis. While such a social skill is relevant in any collaboration, the project focused on the inter-organizational domain, on the assumption that it is particularly salient there, because such actors have less organizational structures and routines to rely on in their collaboration. The project combines two theoretical approaches: the theory of strategic action fields (Fligstein & McAdam 2012) and the Montreal School of Organizational Communication, also described as the CCO approach (Communication as Constitutive of Organization).

The realization of this project also contributed to the emergence of an inter-disciplinary field of meeting science, by building an international network of scholars studying meetings and related phenomena. This was achieved by organizing the first inter-disciplinary conference dedicated to meetings, the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium (see www.kunsido.net/gmss) with 50 participants from 13 countries. A follow-up event will be held in Copenhagen in 2019.

The project also created public awareness about meetings as a research topic through interviews in the mass media, and by facilitating discussions between meeting practitioners and researchers through the creation of an online forum (see www.kunsido.net).