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Business Meetings and Leadership

A Quantitative Study about Levers to Enhance the Perceived Performance Trajectory

Master's Thesis 2017 147 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance

Excerpt

Contents

Executive Summary

List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

List of Tables

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Importance for Meeting Science and Business Practice
1.3 Need for Optimization
1.4 Structure of the Work

2 Business Meetings and Effective Leadership
2.1 Business Meetings
2.1.1 Meeting Definition
2.1.2 Meeting Process and Design Characteristics
2.1.3 Meeting Types
2.1.4 Meeting Purposes
2.1.5 Meeting Time Demand
2.1.6 Meeting Expenditures
2.2 Effective Leadership
2.2.1 Leadership Definition
2.2.2 Leadership Styles and Effective Leadership Skills
2.2.3 Effective Leadership in Business Meetings
2.3 Roles and Responsibilities Matrix for Business Meetings

3 Statement of Purpose and Research Design
3.1 Statement of Purpose
3.2 Research Questions and Hypotheses
3.3 Research Design
3.4 Target Group and Sample
3.5 Instruments and Procedures
3.6 Data Analysis

4 Results and Hypothesis Testing
4.1 General and Social Demographics
4.2 Meeting Design Characteristics
4.2.1 Effects on Perceived Meeting Outcomes
4.2.2 Effects on Perceived Meeting Satisfaction
4.3 Meeting Behavior and Communication
4.3.1 Effects on Perceived Meeting Outcomes
4.3.2 Effects on Perceived Meeting Satisfaction
4.4 Meeting Technology
4.4.1 Effects on Perceived Meeting Outcomes
4.4.2 Effects on Perceived Meeting Satisfaction
4.4.3 Effects on Meeting Process
4.5 Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
4.5.1 Effects on Meeting Outcomes
4.5.2 Effects on Meeting Satisfaction

5 Discussion
5.1 Implications for Meeting Science
5.2 Implications for Organizations and Leadership
5.3 Levers to Enhance the Perceived Performance Trajectory

6 Conclusion
6.1 Summary
6.2 Limitations
6.3 Further Research

Bibliography

Appendices

Appendix 1: The Questionnaire
Appendix 2: Survey Response Rate Statistics
Appendix 3: General Results
Appendix 4: Statistical Data Analysis Results
Appendix 5: Hypothesis Testing Results
Appendix 6: Types and Sources of Complexity
Appendix 7: Stakeholders of an Organization
Appendix 8: Comparison of Three Types of Intelligence
Appendix 9: Conceptualization of Emotional Intelligence
Appendix 10: Definitions of Cohesion in Groups

List of Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Figures

Figure 1: The Meeting Process

Figure 2: Taxonomy of Meeting Purposes

Figure 3: Average Weekly Meeting Time by Individual Role

Figure 4: Average Annual Meeting Costs per Role

Figure 5: Average Total Annual Meeting Costs per Role

Figure 6: Maslow’s 1969 Hierarchy of Needs

Figure 7: Typology of Effective Leadership Skills

Figure 8: Guidelines for Effective Leadership in Meetings

Figure 9: The Four Elements of Emotional Intelligence

Figure 10: Deductive Quantitative Research Approach

Figure 11: Research Model of the Quantitative Study

Figure 12: Example of a Slider Bar as used in the Questionnaire

Figure 13: Most Frequent Meeting Types

Figure 14: Weak Correlation Scatter Plot

Figure 15: Strong Correlation Scatter Plot

List of Tables

Table 1: Five Metaphors to Conceptualize Meetings

Table 2: Meeting Design Characteristics

Table 3: Selected Leadership Definitions over 50 years

Table 4: Leaders vs. Managers

Table 5: Overview of the Main Leadership Theories

Table 6: Example of a RASIC Matrix

Executive Summary

Over the last years, the global market environment has rapidly evolved. Disruptive innovations have altered the technological landscape and turned existing business models and ways of operating upside down. In this highly dynamic environment, organizations and leadership face a multitude of different challenges, as new market players have emerged and fierce competition is on the rise.

Today, it is crucial to embrace specific organizational skills and behaviors to stay relevant in the future. In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business context, these are key to stay competitive and to lay solid foundations for future growth.

To facilitate this, organizations have strived to make their processes as efficient and effective as possible. Remarkably, they have yet not unlocked the improvement potential that is associated with business meetings.

As a matter of fact, business meetings have not only become an indisputable part of daily business operations all around the world, but also a subject that is often perceived as costly, unproductive and dissatisfying.

The purpose of this work is to both advance the current research on business meetings at the intersection with leadership and provide actionable insights for businesses on how to enhance their organizational performance in practice.

By using a quantitative study to analyze 301 responses gathered from an online survey and test associated hypotheses, insights about the current state of meeting usage and their implications on organizational performance, based on perceived meeting satisfaction and outcomes, were identified.

Essentially, when trying to optimize their performance trajectory, organizations need to focus on a triad of meeting performance, consisting of meeting design, behavior and communication, and meeting technology.

If the insights are taken seriously and the suggested solutions are implemented in practice holistically, organizations will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of enhanced performance while cutting costs by around USD 8.5 million annually.

1 Introduction

1.1 Background

The global market environment has rapidly evolved over the last years and with it the status quo in which organizations must operate.

Today’s business environment is characterized by the acronym VUCA[1], which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. This term is frequently used throughout organizations to paraphrase both opportunities as well as risks that businesses and individuals are facing.[2] Under these circumstances, it is more important than ever before to embrace the transformative power of change to one’s own benefit, to stay competitive in a global marketplace and to lay solid foundations for future growth.[3] The understanding of VUCA is crucial for emerging leaders, managers, directors and executives as those will have a considerable impact on the lives of thousands of people all around the world and the power to shape the future. Thus, they will need to develop the right skills and versatility early in their careers to navigate successfully and sustainably through a rapidly changing world.[4] This preparedness for an uncertain future is vital in and a key success factor of leadership. Although Louis Pasteur meant it in the context of research experiments, he vividly expressed this importance in the following way:[5]

“…in the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”

But not everyone is equally aware of the future’s unpredictability[6] and takes the appropriate actions to fully leverage its potential.

Disruptive innovations in information and communication technologies (ICTs), global connectivity, mobile devices, cloud technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT), are the cutting-edge infrastructure that connects everybody with everything.[7] Through this, it drives digital transformation on a global scale.

Consequences are manifold. For companies, it disrupts business models[8], industries, and regions. In private life, it catalyzes change in people’s behavior, communication patterns, individual well-being, and lifestyle. Not only does technological change impact efficiency, but more importantly, how social systems like groups, organizations, and people interact with each other in different contexts.[9] This is due to the dual nature of technology by being both a product and a process at the same time.[10]

In business, the effects of change on certain tools, processes, and frameworks vary. More importantly, those with a material impact on organizations lag the actual speed of change.[11] The reason for this is a lack of attention and resource allocation by the company’s leadership that would be appropriate. Especially given their criticality for the vitality of the business and the potential magnitude on the company’s bottom line, its prospects, as well as its perceived performance trajectory.[12]

1.2 Importance for Meeting Science and Business Practice

Business meetings are ubiquitous and have become an indisputable part of organizations, of their organizational DNA and company culture.[13] Independent from industry sectors, they are embedded into daily routines, schedules and deeply ingrained into the minds of employees, their behaviors, and attitudes, affecting the way they work – consciously or unconsciously – on a global basis.[14] Especially an organization’s leadership faces challenges due to the ever-changing and complex environment in which they must run the business successfully. Thus, they need to anticipate and cope with transformative change. This requires them to continuously adapt to market dynamics and to acquire new skills and embrace novel technologies to stay competitive.[15] To make decisions with substantial magnitude, vast quantities of information need to be processed virtually in real-time, which can no longer be handled by one single person alone.[16] Thus, leadership uses business meetings with the goal to bring order to the complex environment to make it manageable by allocating attention as well as resources towards strategic issues to sustain the company’s adaptiveness.[17] Due to this, business meetings have become increasingly important and consume much of the available time of employees, leaders, managers, directors, and executives.[18] Evidence from numerous empirical studies since the 1960s confirms that both the number of meetings as well as their duration has increased over time, and also, that this development is expected to continue well into the future.[19]

Historically, meetings have been rarely in the focus of empirical research.[20] Today, a multitude of nonscientific or not explicitly scientific literature on meetings is available that primarily focuses on practice-oriented advice on how to make meetings more efficient and effective. Remarkably, literature that is based on credible scientific research and that is taking a scientific look at meetings as an object of inquiry, instead of using them as a container to study other phenomena, is still constrained.[21] Over the recent years, the scientific interest among researchers to contribute to and to enrich the available body of meeting knowledge has increased. Meeting science, the study of what happens before, during, and after workplace meetings, is, therefore, a relatively new area of research. By looking at the psychological, sociological and anthropological foundations, scholars strive to enhance the understanding of meetings, as well as influencing factors and resulting consequences, not only for individuals, groups or teams but also organizations and society.[22]

1.3 Need for Optimization

Many companies seek ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness to stay operationally as well as financially flexible in volatile and competitive markets.[23] Due to this, business environment and competition need to be analyzed, e.g. via Porter’s 2001 five forces analysis, which he adapted to account for the effects of the internet on business.[24] This input is used to develop a sound strategy to sustain and enhance the competitive position, e.g. by having the right resources available to invest in R&D, by generating game-changing innovations, driving digitization to boost both internal productivity as well as aid the development of completely new business models to fulfill new and emerging market demands. But it is equally important to identify the hidden value or unrealized potential that lies inside the organization and to develop concepts to unlock and utilize these resources for reaching the strategic goals of the enterprise, to ultimately benefit all stakeholders[25] via sustainable value-creation. Companies have optimized their organizational structure, made internal as well as external processes as efficient and effective as possible and strategically focused on their core competencies and outsourced non-core activities.[26] Despite extensive investments to drive change and continued emphasis on optimization, there is still potential that has not yet been realized, especially in the context of business meetings.

1.4 Structure of the Work

The work in hand is divided into six main chapters and segmented further into several sub-chapters. This aims to ensure comprehensibility and readability aligned to the chain of reasoning.

Chapter 1 begins with an outline of the current business environment and justifies the importance of studying business meetings for both meeting science and business practice. The need for continued organizational optimization is then briefly discussed before pointing out the overall structure of the work.

In the second chapter, a comprehensive view of meeting definitions and the meeting process is provided. Further, pertinent classification methods based on meeting type or purpose are discussed including insights into the resource consumption of meetings. In addition, available leadership definitions and leadership styles are mentioned, while emphasizing effective leadership skills. Lastly, the roles and responsibilities matrix for business meetings is briefly clarified.

Chapter 3 illustrates the purpose of the study and states the research questions including associated hypotheses. This is followed by the explanation of the research design as well as the target group, sample, instruments, and procedures. It concludes with a detailed discussion of the chosen quantitative data analysis approach.

The fourth chapter 4 outlines the results of both data analysis and hypothesis testing. First by providing a general overview and then breaking it down into the different areas such as meeting design characteristics, behavior and communication, meeting technology and the roles and responsibilities matrix that impact both meeting outcomes and meeting satisfaction.

Chapter 5 deals in-depth with the implications of the results for both meeting science as well as organizations and leadership and how they compare with previous research. Also, novel insights from the present study are highlighted including their potential benefits. The core of this section lies in arguing how these insights can be used to enhance the perceived performance trajectory in practice and by providing suggestions for their implementation in organizations.

Lastly, the main findings and practical implications of the study are concisely summarized including potential limitations as well as directions for further research.

2 Business Meetings and Effective Leadership

2.1 Business Meetings

2.1.1 Meeting Definition

Even though there are common key characteristics, every meeting consists of unique and dynamic attributes. Thus, it is imperative to be aware that every meeting is different.[27] The same is true when developing a definition for business meetings.

As soon as people are involved, things get complex and dynamic. The reasons are diverse educational and professional backgrounds, personal and professional goals, embeddedness in distinct social systems with different individual mentalities, and exposure to and (pre-)determination by a multitude of regional as well as organizational cultures and expectations. Jointly, these will act as a filter for perceptions.[28] Thus, it will have a material impact on the different individual and situational[29] views and perceived realities, which vary broadly among individual scholars and practitioners, even on one and the same topic and how it is experienced and judged, especially when people are geographically spread. This is the reason for the existence of a variety of different meeting definitions and approaches on how to characterize them.

In the 1980s, first research on meetings found that a meeting represents a communicative event that organizes interaction in a variety of ways.[30] More precisely, a meeting is constituted by a gathering of at least three people with the purpose of discussing ideas and opinions, developing procedures and policies, solving issues, making decisions and framing recommendations.[31] This definition is extended by adding that meetings are also used to create and solve issues, exchange information and misinformation, as well as to forge or restrain a sense of group identity and team spirit among meeting attendees.[32] It is further argued that meetings possess a lower formality than a lecture, but a higher formality than a chat.[33] Differently, meetings are described as a metaphor for power relationships, since meetings are used to solidify existing leadership structures by deciding on who is invited, which is not necessarily aligned to the individual’s relevance to achieving the meeting target.[34] In a simpler manner, other scholars state that a meeting involves at least three attendees for a minimum duration of 15 minutes.[35] Meetings represent tools that enable intra-organizational communication by establishing connections among employees, departments, or businesses within the same organization.[36] With a focus on its purpose, meetings are characterized as social actions and interactions through which organizational members, e.g. employees, produce and reproduce the vision, mission, and goals of the company to achieve organizational goals.[37] Meetings are one of the few business situations in which employees can engage and pursue objectives in a variety of functional, relational and cultural actions at once.[38] Meetings are conducted with the target to achieve specific outcomes in the future by carrying out required planning, consideration and decision-making.[39] Besides, meetings are characterized as constitutive organizational events that shape the work, the organization, as well as the individual, and are conceptualized via five metaphors as shown in Table 1.[40]

Throughout this work, a meeting is defined as the gathering of multiple people in an organization within a business context, to formally or informally discuss a certain topic to achieve a defined outcome for the organization, independent from the meeting type[41], where the meeting process not only consumes resources like time and money but also supplies them via information and decisions.[42]

Table 1: Five Metaphors to Conceptualize Meetings

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Olien, et al., 2015, pp. 13-16.

2.1.2 Meeting Process and Design Characteristics

It is constitutional for meetings that a group of people communicates and interacts with each other to achieve a defined meeting target, or, to produce a specific outcome for the organization.[43] The achieved results are associated with a certain degree of either usefulness, to be both meaningful and appropriate to the task, or uniqueness, by showing some sort of originality or novelty.[44] For a variety of reasons, this creativity is especially relevant in business settings. Among them not only to solve intra-organizational issues, make decisions or define strategies but also to come up with new product ideas, services, solutions and business models to stay relevant in the marketplace and to leapfrog the competition by developing game-changing innovations. Thus, the extensive impact of creativity on the whole organization and how it is employed in the meeting process becomes evident.

During meetings, both cognitive, as well as social processes take place.[45] Cognitive processes consist of problem identification and construction, where the existence of a problem is identified and targets, as well as parameters of the problem-solving process, are defined.[46] Information sharing and exchange, ideation and brainstorming, evaluation and selection of ideas as well as implementation planning are part of this as well. In contrast, social processes comprise (group) communication, development and existence of trust, psychological safety and support for innovation.[47] Further essential parts are represented by both cognitive task-related as well as socio-emotional relationship conflict, which stems from interpersonal disagreement.

Figure 1 provides an overview of the meeting process, influencing factors and outcomes.[48] From a chronological perspective, the overarching meeting process is divided into three phases, comprising pre-meeting activities, the meeting (execution) itself, as well as post-meeting actions.[49] In the pre-meeting phase, the meeting organizer, leader or facilitator, prepares and organizes the meeting by sending out invitations including the agenda, reminders, and if applicable, setting up the facility. Also, he engages in pre-meeting talks, such as small talk, work talk and meeting preparatory talk.[50] The meeting itself usually starts with the opening by the meeting leader, in which the target of the meeting and the desired outcome is made clear, including a brief presentation of the agenda.[51] After that, the interaction starts and the leader guides through the different items on the agenda, including time management and breaks, clarifying and rephrasing content, ensuring focus on the topic, promoting a positive and open climate as well as managing conflicts.[52] The principal part of the meeting comprises many different aspects, depending on the type and purpose of the meeting. These range from exchanging knowledge and information, over planning and coordinating to generate new information and knowledge, to analyzing and evaluating it to finally make a decision, which is then formally recorded either before the meeting ends or as part of after-meeting activities.[53] In this sense, the need for action planning becomes evident to define the steps needed and to assign individual responsibilities to implement the decision that has been made.[54]

Figure 1: The Meeting Process

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Source: Simplified version of Davison, 1997, cited in Rausch, 2008, p. 267.

Post-meeting activities include the recording of meeting outcomes and follow-up actions, including responsibilities and time frame, that might play a critical role in the preparation phase of the next follow-up or review meeting, as well as the preparation and distribution of meeting minutes.[55] Meeting leaders should enable attendees to provide after meeting feedback to continuously improve meeting processes.[56]

Meeting design characteristics, which make up the meeting processes, are items that reflect the way meetings are conducted and are classified in various ways.[57] Different scholars identified 18 distinct meeting design characteristics, that are, or at least could be, determined by the meeting organizer or leader, and concern the four areas shown in Table 2.[58]

Table 2: Meeting Design Characteristics

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation based on Cohen, et al., 2011.

To design meetings effectively, evidence proves that it is imperative to take meeting design characteristics into account. And more importantly, to specifically tailor them to suit the meeting type and situational context, as not all characteristics are equally relevant under changing conditions and thus have different effects on the meeting.[59]

By separating meeting characteristics into structural and psychological characteristics, others take a different but comparable approach to previous findings.[60] A few scholars argue that also the attendees’ participation, satisfaction, as well as the mood during the meeting – either comfortable or enthusiastic – should be considered.[61]

By comparing the work of many scholars, Rief identified that pre-meeting activities and post-meeting actions positively affect meeting productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency.[62] Firstly, the existence of a written agenda and the early distribution as well as clarification of expected outcomes increased productivity. Similarly, appropriate preparation, recording of meeting minutes and defining follow-up tasks including responsibilities and time frame, improved both meeting effectiveness and the sustainability of the achievements. Lastly, a well in advance distributed and communicated agenda including time estimations for each topic, provided the meeting with structure, if adhered to the agenda, and thus, enhanced meeting efficiency.

2.1.3 Meeting Types

Imperative for any economic activity is the existence and occurrence of interpersonal communication.[63] Throughout the business environment, meetings, as a tool for social interaction to facilitate intra-organizational communication, can occur in a variety of ways and employ different formats.[64] The decision for or against one type or another is driven by organizations’ needs and preferences, employment of state-of-the-art information and communication technologies, existence and compatibility of collaboration tools and simply, available meeting budget. Organizational communication can get arbitrarily complex and dynamic. This is due to human nature and behavior. Thus, no single mode of communication or technology can fulfill all needs and requirements of organizations and individuals under specific circumstances at a given point in time.[65] How meetings occur is not a meaningful element of meeting constitution. Without consideration of further differentiation into stand-up or sit-down meetings[66], the following meeting types are distinguished in this work.

The constitutive characteristic of face-to-face meetings is the enablement of attendees to meet at a single location and to engage in personal face-to-face communication throughout the course of the meeting, without the usage of mediating technology.[67]

To enable intra- and extra-organizational communication within geographically spread workforces and virtual teams[68] in real-time and a cost-effective manner, the application of mediating technologies becomes inevitable.[69] Digital transformation enabled by global connectivity and powered by the internet as the cutting-edge infrastructure provides individuals and organizations with a multitude of possibilities to communicate via different (virtual) communication technologies.[70]

Telephone conferences represent the simplest form of meeting by employing such mediating technology[71], where multiple attendees join a meeting by dialing into a virtual conference room, or via receiving a callback to the desired telephone number, to share information and discuss relevant topics verbally.

A more sophisticated meeting type is screen sharing[72] via a computer or mobile device, also known as desktop sharing. The virtual meeting consists of a telephone conference which is enhanced by a visual component to share content e.g. by sharing one’s own desktop and thus making the same content available for everyone at the same time. Popular screen sharing tools include Cisco’s WebEx, Microsoft’s Skype for Business, IBM’s Sametime as well as TeamViewer, among others.

A hybrid form are video conferences and telepresence that combine different elements into one meeting.[73] Webcam video streaming and microphones enable face-to-face interaction between attendees that are in the same room, or to transmit interactions from one location to remotely located individual attendees or groups. It also allows individuals without webcams to dial in via a telephone conference to participate in the meeting. All attendees have the possibility to view the content that is shared on their own computers, mobile devices, or in the video conferencing room via a central screen or projector at the same time.

2.1.4 Meeting Purposes

There are almost as many meeting definitions as there are possibilities to classify them. Scholars have different methodologies to define meeting types, such as the classification per communication format[74] like meeting, workshop, conference, or review. As it becomes evident from the used terminology, the distinctions are fuzzy and there are overlaps between the different communication formats. Another way to structure meeting types is based on temporal characteristics such as the frequency of occurrence, e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, or the required pre-planning, such as short- or long-term, as well as the regularity, like irregular, occasional or repeatedly.[75] Other scholars advocate for meeting classifications by meeting size like the number of attendees, or the composition of attendees based on their position in the organization’s hierarchy, e.g. sales, staff, committee, management or leadership meeting, among others.[76] As the lack of unity amidst researchers persists, throughout this work, the third and most widely used possibility to classify meetings will be used, based on the meeting’s purpose, the target and outcome that shall be achieved during or at the end of the meeting.[77] Despite the existence of more detailed classifications with up to 16 categories, which are rather inconvenient in practical application due to their complex handling with these numerous classes, the following taxonomy of meeting purposes with seven categories will be used:[78]

Figure 2: Taxonomy of Meeting Purposes

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation based on Hansen & Allen, 2015, p. 204; Allen, et al., 2014a.

2.1.5 Meeting Time Demand

The first element that many scholars investigate is meeting time. Several studies that seek to quantify which average amount of time people spend in meetings prove that. Time is not only scarce but also crucial in a highly competitive market environment.[79]

In addition to the meeting time itself, especially employees in leadership positions spend much time on preparing for meetings and consuming its results.[80] It can be observed that time spent for preparing, attending, and leading meetings increases both with greater size of the organization in terms of the number of employees and with the individual’s position in the company, meaning the closer to the top management, the higher the time spent.[81] For the top management of a company, meetings are the most time-consuming task of all.[82] This is crucial since their time is one of the scarcest resources of an organization, and is often squandered in a variety of ways. To put this into perspective, out of the available 250 hours per year a top management team spends together, only 37 hours per year, equaling 3 hours per month, are available to be used for vital topics like strategy development and approval.[83] Further, meetings are characterized both as the core of managers’ activities as well as corporate communication processes.[84]

Managers and knowledge workers[85] spend between 22% and 80% of their available time in meetings.[86] A recent study found similar time consumption levels, depending on the hierarchy in the organization, ranging from 13% for employees, over 25% for middle management and up to 60% to 70% for top management.[87] Taking a 40-hour work week as a basis, this results in 5 to 32 hours weekly in meetings. The 3M study identified that meeting time spent depends on company size, where employees in large organizations tend to spend about 8.7 hours in meetings per week, whereas in small companies, the time investment accounted for about 4.5 hours, on average.[88] Further studies among 7,000 managers yielded similar results, as the average time spent accounted for 8.4 hours per week.[89] A more recent study found that employees, who work at least 35 hours per week, spent on average around 5.6 hours of their weekly time in meetings.[90] The distribution of the average meeting time per week, depending on individual role is shown in Figure 3. The data is based on Bain & Company’s time management study from 2014 that included nine companies, 75,000 employees, and more than 50 million meetings.[91] Beginning at the director level, and continuing for the levels above, it becomes evident that people spent more than twice as much time in meetings than the average employee, who spent around 9 hours.

Figure 3: Average Weekly Meeting Time by Individual Role

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation, data based on Bain Company, 2014, p. 6.

2.1.6 Meeting Expenditures

After quantifying meeting time consumption, scholars focus on identifying associated meeting costs. Another area of focus is the additional workload that is generated for employees that are not directly participating in the meeting.

Different studies confirm that meetings are often a waste of time, costly, unproductive, ineffective, dissatisfying for employees and that they often lack both action planning to define steps needed as well as assignment and clear accountability of individual responsibilities to implement decisions.[92] Financial costs associated with meetings can be broken down into their different origins e.g. direct- and indirect meeting costs, pre- and post-meeting costs as well as lost productivity costs.[93] Others argue that in order to quantify the true meeting costs thoroughly, not only direct labor costs but also travel expenses, lost opportunity costs[94] as well as increased employee stress[95] due to ineffective and thus required follow-up meetings, should be taken into account.[96] Further, stress impacts individual well-being and can lead to increased job dissatisfaction. Follow-up meetings to clarify issues that were caused by poorly conducted meetings and to achieve the meeting outcome that should have been achieved in the first place are equally unfavorable.

Meeting cost estimates range from USD 30 million to more than USD 100 million per year.[97] Bain & Company estimates USD 300 million in annual meeting costs for an organization with 10,000 employees, based on fully loaded annual labor costs.[98] Figure 4 shows how this cost can be allocated to the different roles within an organization on a per employee basis. Despite the first impression that meeting costs are associated with the individual’s position in the company and therefore rise when reaching a higher level in the hierarchy, where costs per executive vice president or similar roles are extremely high, there is only a limited number of such roles in an organization. In relation to that, there is a vast base of individual contributors, who, individually, have relatively small annual meeting costs. In absolute terms, these smaller individual amounts add up quickly to significant costs and even exceed the levels for the top or middle management of the organization. This reverse picture is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 4: Average Annual Meeting Costs per Role

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation, data based on Bain & Company, 2014, p. 6, rounded figures.

Inefficient meetings cause between 20% to 47% of the stated meeting costs in losses for organizations.[99] In absolute terms, this accounts for USD 6 million to USD 141 million in annual losses, depending on the size of the organization.[100]

Figure 5: Average Total Annual Meeting Costs per Role

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation, data based on Bain & Company, 2014, p. 6, rounded figures.

A significant contributor to meeting costs is the complexity of the organization, meaning the number of management layers between employees in the frontline and the CEO of the company.[101] More layers slow down the speed of decision-making and obstruct fast information flow through the different layers to where it is needed to act with the speed and authority (by empowerment) that is required in front of customers.

The study shows that depending on the role, installing one new manager in a layer of the organization creates the equivalent of 1.5 full-time employees’ (FTE) worth of additional work, on average, which is broken down into his own workload plus 50% of the time of another employee. The picture gets even worse with another senior vice president or executive vice president is added, where averagely even 2.6 FTE employees’ worth of additional workload is created.

In fact, the fully loaded costs of having several managers, directors, vice presidents or even C-level executives sitting together in one meeting, can easily account for tens of thousands of dollars, and on a lower level, when only a few managers and individuals meet, the costs are significant as well.[102] True meeting costs can easily amount to several hundreds of thousands or even millions per year, e.g. USD 15 million for regularly scheduled 90-minute mid-level management meeting.[103] Thus, the question arises which control mechanisms and approval steps companies have put in place to decide in favor or against expenditures on that scale. In other areas like R&D, marketing and property, plant & equipment, approvals of such investments are controlled by a formalized and rigorous process to assess risks, determine a business need for the investment and specifying return that needs to be achieved. Remarkably, for business meetings, no such measures and procedures exist. This arbitrary and not effectively controlled spending of company resources posits the notion that investing time is not considered the same as spending money.[104] In business, time is money. This makes the case for taking appropriate measures and procedures in organizations to effectively contain meeting expenditures.

2.2 Effective Leadership

2.2.1 Leadership Definition

When elaborating on what leadership is and what it is not, it turns out that developing a definition of leadership is not an easy, but rather difficult task. Burns is widely cited for stating that:[105]

“Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.”

Different researchers have a multitude of various backgrounds and pursue equally manifold goals in their research activities and when studying leadership as a multi-faceted phenomenon. When trying to come up with a leadership definition, this is no different. After an extensive review of 72 existing leadership definitions more than four decades ago, Stogdill found that almost every researcher had his own way of defining leadership, which continuously increased the number of available definitions.[106] Today, this trend is still unbroken[107], and as of now, Amazon.com yields over 218,000 results relating to leadership.[108]

Over this time frame, scholars have sought to explain and characterize leadership with different theories and notions, such as Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, Great Man theories, trait theories, environmental theories, person-situation (contingency) theories, interaction-expectation theories, humanistic theories, exchange theories as well as perceptual, cognitive and constructivist theories.[109] The existence of this multitude of different, but also overlapping or contradictory, approaches made the development of a generally applicable definition more difficult instead of simpler. Table 3 shows a concise and selected compilation of some of the available definitions.

Table 3: Selected Leadership Definitions over 50 years

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation based on Yukl, 2010, p. 3.

Specifically, when talking about organizations and how they are steered through the complexity of business, it is argued that leaders and managers are two different individuals due to their disparity in motivation, personal history and behavior.[110] Other scholars support this notion and advocate for the distinction between leaders and managers.[111] This concept of differentiation gained widespread attention in 1990 through Kotter’s influential “A Force For Change: How Leadership Differs from Management”.[112] The overview in Table 4 helps to get a further understanding of what separates one from another.

Mintzberg regards this distinction rather critical, as it might be possible to conceptually distinguish between the two, but in practice, it might prove much more difficult to do, and thus, he questions the need for this separation entirely.[113] He concludes that the exclusive focus on leadership puts the individual leader in the center of attention and degrades others as followers, and thus neglects the fundamental requirement in organizations for cooperative work and sense of community. Therefore, it is required to promote leadership together with management, not separately, which he subsumes under the term “communityship”. Other scholars agree with this concept by stating the separation is usually exaggerated and that a truly successful organization needs both through the convergence of inspirational leadership with managerial effectiveness.[114] Further, it is argued that leadership is not the property of single individuals but rather the expression of the collective capability to shape organizations.[115]

Table 4: Leaders vs. Managers

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation based on compiled data from Grint, et al., 2017; Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, p. 79; Storey, 2011b, p. 8; Yukl, 2010, pp. 33-35; Nirenberg, 2004, p. 851; Senge, 1997; Kotter, 1990, pp. 3-18; Zaleznik, 1990; Bennis, 1989; Zaleznik, 1977; Mintzberg, 1975; Mintzberg, 1971.

To understand the origins of leadership, as compared to many other aspects of the human nature, it is helpful to take a look at people’s fundamental needs.[116] Firstly in 1943, Maslow outlined in his influential “A Theory of Human Motivation” a framework for the hierarchy of needs that drive human motivation, which was then further explained in his 1954 “Motivation and Personality.[117] This hierarchy consists of five basic needs, that are predominantly expressed as a pyramid, as shown in the right part of Figure 6, aligned with the notion that once complete satisfaction of the first or “lowest” basic need is achieved, other needs emerge on a higher level, which humans then strive to satisfy.

Over the years after its publication, Maslow started to have doubts about the concept of self-actualization as the culmination of human motivation, and due to this, further developed, refined, and rectified this hierarchy to include a sixth element, namely self-transcendence, which he published in 1969 shortly before his passing.[118] On the self-actualization level, the individual strives to actualize its own potential, whereas to reach self-transcendence, individual needs are set aside to serve others, a force or cause at a higher level, the greater good, outside of the individual’s personal self.[119] This concept helps to understand the origins of altruism, religious violence as well as human wisdom, but until today, most of the available literature does not accurately represent this rectified version of Maslow’s erarchy of needs.[120]

Figure 6: Maslow’s 1969 Hierarchy of Needs

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation based on Maslow, 1970, pp. 35-58; Maslow, 1969.

Despite the complexity of finding a single definition of leadership, most scholars agree on five ways how to grasp the different manifestations of leadership – as a person, as a result, as a position, as a purpose, and as a process.[121]

Kets de Vries argues that one key characteristic of all leaders is represented in their ability to “reawaken primitive emotions in their followers”, which makes them either feel “powerfully grandiose and proud, or helpless and acutely dependent”.[122] In this sense, aligned with the various approaches to define leadership, a common feature of leaders is their power to make use of people’s needs and emotions, either intentionally or unintentionally, to facilitate, influence, guide and structure thoughts, behaviors, actions and relationships of people, groups and organizations, to pursue and achieve a common goal.[123] Even though factors like IQ, family wealth, and stability, education, gender, race, as well as ethnicity have been identified to play a role in leadership, far more important is the adaptiveness and dedication to life-long learning, to being able to understand the context and to recognize as well as capture emerging opportunities.[124] Especially in times of unprecedented, disruptive and transformative change that constitutes today’s VUCA environment.[125] Based on this notion of change, leadership is also a dynamic construct, as what is expected from leadership as well as what is perceived as leadership, will inevitably change over time, as it has until today.[126] The awareness of change and the capability to cope with it is imperative to know what needs to be done to achieve the goals of the organization under the given circumstances.[127] Further essential attributes of leaders comprise having a guiding vision, passion, integrity as the basis for trust, curiosity, audacity, and a sense of accountability for their expressed leadership.[128]

Consequently, leadership is about inspiring people to jointly pursue and accomplish common goals, and the process of getting there, based on values, teamwork, community, the ethical use of power, and authenticity.[129] By this, it is distinguished from traditional, autocratic and hierarchical leadership styles, as a modern and more educated workforce expect leadership to suit their actions to their words and to enhance their well-being instead of impairing it.

2.2.2 Leadership Styles and Effective Leadership Skills

Over the last 50 years, based on thousands of studies, a variety of different approaches to leadership and thus different leadership types or styles have been developed. These culminate in taxonomies that describe both general leadership behavior, under various circumstances or with different goals, as well as narrower definitions, that are especially associated with one or more different leadership theories.[130] Table 5 provides an overview of the most influential leadership theories since scholars started to study leadership, grouped by their different theoretical concepts.

The multitude of different leadership styles and that most of these exist in parallel neither means that the mere existence of a “newer” theory makes an “older” theory invalid or substitutes it per se nor does it constitute the perception that “newer” concepts are better or superior to the previous ones. Available leadership theories provide evidence that different leadership styles yield the same results, depending on circumstances and individual characteristics, even if based on fundamentally different notions of leadership and how it is implemented in practice.

Therefore, this work will refrain from picking one of the above-mentioned leadership styles or theories, since there is not a single leadership style as the silver bullet that works everywhere, for every type of organization, under all circumstances and for every purpose. In any organization, culture and people will be different, thus, the most suitable leadership style needs to be evaluated from case to case, aligned with the required organizational structure to being able to enhance organizational performance and drive the desired behavior, facilitate change or transformation as well as enhance the adaptiveness to achieve the goals of the organization.

Today, it is increasingly being argued that to be effective, leaders need to employ various elements of different, even contradictory, leadership styles.[131]

Table 5: Overview of the Main Leadership Theories

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation adapted from Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, pp. 80-89; Torjus, 2013, pp. 53-64; Yukl, 2012; Storey, 2011a, p. 17; Yukl, 2011, pp. 286-298; Yukl, 2010, pp. 54-81, 224-293; Sorenson & Goethals, 2004, pp. 867-874; Goffee & Jones, 2000.

Hence, the focus will be laid on effective leadership, its specific elements and notions, what behaviors and communication patterns constitute and support it and how it can be achieved in practice. Certainly, it would be interesting to investigate how other leadership styles affect business meetings, the process of conducting them as well as meeting outcomes and meeting satisfaction, but this is not the primary focus of this work, but could become a topic for further meeting and leadership research.

Effective leadership skills are characterized in many ways and with different terminologies.[132] In this work, effective leadership skills in a global context will be classified by using an adapted version of Katz’ traditional three skills typology that divides leadership skills into technical, conceptual as well as soft skills, as shown in Figure 7.[133]

Figure 7: Typology of Effective Leadership Skills

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Own representation based on Yukl, 2012; Katz, 1955.

Firstly, to enable effective leadership, technical skills need to be mastered.[134] Not only does this include competencies such as analytical capabilities and specialized knowledge about how specific kinds of activities, processes, procedures, methods or techniques work in an organization, but also the proficiency to apply those tools and techniques in practice for execution under the given circumstances. Essential for effective leaders are business acumen, which relates to the leader’s ability to recognize the big picture while having credible knowledge on and familiarity of the substance of the matter as well as being able to integrate industry knowledge and to identify effective solutions. Further, organizational competencies describe the capability to build organizational structures and processes in such ways that maximize the organization’s global effectiveness. Besides that, leaders need to be able to identify patterns and relationships among a series of events that may seem chaotic and distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, enabling them to bring order to the complex environment to make it manageable. Lastly, in times continuous and profound change, which is constitutional of the VUCA environment, it is imperative for leaders to not only lead but also implement change and transformation on a global scale.

Secondly, conceptual skills are also vital for effective leadership.[135] Indispensable abilities of effective leaders are the apprehension of the complex and rapidly evolving business environment and with it, strategic thinking, developing a compelling vision for the future of the organization and providing focus. Thereby, from an internal perspective, the deep understanding of the complete organization, how people and processes function on different layers, and the interplay of the various functions and resulting interdependencies, are crucial. Thus, leaders need to perceive the organization holistically and cut through its complexity to realize how a change at one point in the organization can have material impacts on the whole organization. From an external view, it is imperative to analyze the competition, e.g. via Porter’s five forces analysis[136], and the environment in which the organization is embedded and with which it interacts in everyday business, e.g. via a holistic PESTLE analysis[137]. This provides input for a SWOT analysis[138] in the strategic planning and strategy development process of the organization, where the Ansoff Matrix[139] is also a frequently used tool to conceptualize viable strategies, among others. As such, the understanding of these relationships and influencing factors, to making the required decisions in each situation and taking risks, are crucial for effective leaders to implement their vision of the organization’s future.

Lastly, and probably the most important skills for leaders when dealing with people, are appropriate soft skills.[140] These comprise many facets of interacting with people, communication, behaving and motivating, emotions, building and maintaining relationships, as well as nurturing a sense of group identity, unity and group cohesiveness. The Boston Consulting Group’s study provides evidence that soft skills are becoming more important than ever.[141]

When reasoning about skills and qualities of effective leaders, foremost they need great interpersonal skills, both when interacting with single individuals as well as a group of followers. These depend on positive attitude, approachability, and vulnerability, by exposing personal weaknesses to reveal their human side. Further, showing empathy, a sense of humor, flexibility, patience, tactfulness regarding nature and timing of interventions, and motivating in a realistic manner, enables leaders to effectively engage interpersonally.[142] In addition, communication in general and especially cross-cultural communication skills play a vital role. To prevent communication between sender and receiver from failing, contextual, cultural[143] and individual differences need to be accounted for when messages are transmitted. When sent information is disturbed[144] before it reaches the receiver, this can lead to an unforeseen perception of the message and potentially unintended and counterproductive reactions, as argued by Watzlawick as well as Shannon.[145]

It is imperative for effective leaders to articulate their visions of the future and to convey them in such way to their followers that evokes positive emotions and drives their willingness to achieve a common goal. Besides that, leaders need to lead not only individuals but more importantly, groups and (virtual) teams, while considering how these social systems are embedded both into the company structure itself and into the wider relationship context of society and internal as well as external stakeholders. Another important aspect is the ability to empower others by energizing them and increasing their perception of personal relevance to the achievement of the set goal by both communicating high-performance expectations while at the same time expressing confidence in their capability to meet them. Related is the ability to express valuation of followers, respecting them as a person and capitalize on their uniqueness and on differences, as well as caring about what they do to accomplish the goal. This supports the leader’s skill to establish and maintain trusting relationships and organizational networks to interact with and track the progress of their followers, cutting across country, cultural as well as temporal boundaries. To cope with high workload, stress and accepting failure that the pursuit of the vision and the associated challenges might bring, effective leaders need to possess a stable self-image in a continuously changing environment as an anchor point of consistency, and the right level of resilience coupled with endurance.

[...]


[1] Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, p. 106; Packowski, 2014, p. 5; Gerras, 2010, p. 1; Johansen, 2007, pp. 1, 45; Yarger, 2006, pp. 17-18.

[2] Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, pp. 1-2; Mack, et al., 2016, p. 3; Wolf, 2010; Stiehm, 2002, p. 6; Kotter, 1996, p. 161.

[3] Maamari & Majdalani, 2017; Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, pp. 112-113; Anderson & Tushman, 1986.

[4] Deloitte, 2016, p. 27; Morgan, 2006, pp. 363-366.

[5] Translated from the French original «…dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés» in Pasteur, 1939, p. 131.

[6] Mack, et al., 2016, p. 3; Johansen, 2007, p. 45.

[7] Allison, et al., 2015, pp. 686-687; Manyika & Roxburgh, 2011, pp. 3-4; Andriole S. J., 2010, p. 67; Giovannetti, et al., 2003, p. 262; Kotter, 1996, p. 161.

[8] Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, pp. 121-122.

[9] Bonito & Sanders, 2011; Turner, et al., 2010; Sproull & Kiesler, 1991, pp. 1-5.

[10] Scott, et al., 2015a, pp. 28-29; Chudoba, et al., 2005; Putnam, et al., 1999, p. 146; Roberts & Grabowski, 1999, pp. 159, 169.

[11] Mack, et al., 2016, p. 3.

[12] Ocasio, 1997; Dutton & Jackson, 1987; Strauss & Strauss, 1951, pp. 8-17.

[13] Allen, et al., 2015, p. 3; Allen, et al., 2012; Rausch, et al., 2008; Raes, et al., 2007; Chudoba, et al., 2005; Watson & Saunders, 2005; Verizon Communications, 2003, p. 3.

[14] Allen, et al., 2015, p. 3; Raes, et al., 2007; Watson & Saunders, 2005.

[15] Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, pp. 112-113; Mack, et al., 2016, p. 17; Yukl & Mahsud, 2010; Johansen, 2007, p. 67; Wilson, 2004, pp. 858-861; Sproull & Kiesler, 1991, p. 15.

[16] Johansen, 2007, p. 49; Morgan, 2006, pp. 363-366; Corbitt & Martz, 2003; Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Anderson & Tushman, 1986; Hirschhorn, 1985, pp. 172-190.

[17] Klonek, et al., 2015, pp. 434-435; Scott, et al., 2015a, pp. 28-29; Kets de Vries, 2010, p. 30; Yukl, 2010, pp. 263-264; Yukl & Mahsud, 2010; Raes, et al., 2007; Ocasio, 1997; Volkema & Niederman, 1995; Dutton & Jackson, 1987.

[18] Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Niederman & Volkema, 1996.

[19] Kello, 2015, p. 717; Mankins, et al., 2014; Scott, et al., 2012; Van Vree, 2011; Jorgensen, 2010, p. 13; Perkins, 2009, p. 299; Rogelberg, et al., 2007; Rogelberg, et al., 2006; Chudoba, et al., 2005; Anson & Munkvold, 2004; Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Elsayed-Elkhouly, et al., 1997; Green & Lazarus, 1991; Tobia & Becker, 1990.

[20] Rogelberg, et al., 2006; Schwartzman, 1989, p. 61; Schwartzman, 1986.

[21] Allen, et al., 2015, pp. 3-4; Kello, 2015, p. 709; Olien, et al., 2015, pp. 13, 16; Rogelberg, et al., 2012; Tracy & Dimock, 2004, p. 127.

[22] Allen, et al., 2015, pp. 3-4; Rogelberg, et al., 2012; Niederman & Volkema, 1999.

[23] Kotter, 1996, pp. 3-4.

[24] Porter, 2001.

[25] For an overview of the different stakeholders, see Appendix 7: Stakeholders of an Organization.

[26] Markovitch & Willmott, 2014, pp. 1-4; Rousseau, 2012, pp. 3-24; Westerman, et al., 2012, p. 20; Brynjolfsson, et al., 2011; Prahalad & Hamel, 1990.

[27] Kello, 2015, p. 710; Allen, et al., 2012.

[28] Kerzner, 2009, p. 240; Ajzen, 1987.

[29] Endsley & Jones, 2010, pp. 27, 29.

[30] Schwartzman, 1989; Schwartzman, 1986.

[31] Schwartzman, 1989, p. 61.

[32] Tracy & Dimock, 2004, p. 127.

[33] Schwartzman, 1989, p. 62.

[34] Tobia & Becker, 1990.

[35] Green & Lazarus, 1991.

[36] Sproull & Kiesler, 1991, p. 172.

[37] Van Vree, 2011; Boden, 1994, p. 81.

[38] Rogelberg, et al., 2010.

[39] Lehmann-Willenbrock, et al., 2016b.

[40] Olien, et al., 2015, pp. 13-16; Scott, et al., 2015a, p. 25; Raes, et al., 2007.

[41] The different meeting types are discussed in section 2.1.3.

[42] Own definition based on: Cambridge University Press, 2017; Oxford University Press, 2017a; Merriam-Webster, 2017; Olien, et al., 2015, pp. 12-13; Allen, et al., 2012; Cohen, et al., 2011; Rogelberg, et al., 2006; Maitlis, 2005; Schwartzman, 1989, pp. 61-64.

[43] Bonito & Sanders, 2011; Basch & Fisher, 1998.

[44] Reiter-Palmon & Sands, 2015, p. 587.

[45] Reiter-Palmon & Sands, 2015, p. 585.

[46] Reiter-Palmon & Sands, 2015, pp. 589-596.

[47] Reiter-Palmon & Sands, 2015, pp. 596-603.

[48] Simplified version of Davison, 1997, cited in Rausch, 2008, p. 267.

[49] Rief, 2015, pp. 92-94; Petrovic, 1992.

[50] Odermatt, et al., 2015, pp. 62-65; Rief, 2015, p. 93; Yoerger, et al., 2015, p. 153; Allen, et al., 2014b; Niederman & Volkema, 1996; Niederman & Volkema, 1999; Odermatt, et al., 2015, pp. 55-56. Further details on the different talk types can be found in Yoerger, et al., 2015, pp. 154-156; Mirivel & Tracy, 2005.

[51] Ford, 2008, pp. 53-54.

[52] Rief, 2015, pp. 92-94; Ford, 2008, p. 60; Niederman & Volkema, 1999; Niederman & Volkema, 1996.

[53] Rief, 2015, p. 93.

[54] Kauffeld & Lehmann-Willenbrock, 2012.

[55] Geimer, et al., 2015; Odermatt, et al., 2015, pp. 56-57; Rief, 2015, p. 93; Scott, et al., 2015b, pp. 634-636; Leach, et al., 2009; Niederman & Volkema, 1999; Volkema & Niederman, 1995; Jay, 1976.

[56] Odermatt, et al., 2015, pp. 64-65; Scott, et al., 2015b, pp. 634-636.

[57] Geimer, et al., 2015; Van Eerde & Buengeler, 2015, pp. 178-181.

[58] Odermatt, et al., 2015, pp. 49-59, 62-65; Cohen, et al., 2011.

[59] Cohen, et al., 2011; Leach, et al., 2009.

[60] Van Eerde & Buengeler, 2015, pp. 178-181.

[61] Van Eerde & Buengeler, 2015, pp. 180-181.

[62] Rief, 2015, pp. 90-91; Niederman & Volkema, 1996.

[63] Siegert & Von Rimscha, 2013, p. 124.

[64] Bonito & Sanders, 2011, p. 343; Van Vree, 2011; Tracy & Dimock, 2004, p. 127; Boden, 1994, p. 81; Sproull & Kiesler, 1991, p. 172; Schwartzman, 1989, p. 61.

[65] Boczkowski & Orlikowski, 2004, p. 372.

[66] Bluedorn, et al., 1999.

[67] Thompson, 1994, p. 35.

[68] Virtual teams consist of at least two people that work jointly to achieve a common goal, that are geographically spread, often also culturally diverse, and rely on ICTs to being able to overcome geographical, temporal and organizational boundaries, as per Allison, et al., 2015, pp. 680-682; Cichomska, et al., 2015, pp. 663, 671-675; Yukl, 2010, pp. 347-348; Anderson, et al., 2007; Edwards & Wilson, 2004, p. 6.

[69] Duarte & Snyder, 2006, p. 30; Chudoba, et al., 2005; Cheney & Christensen, 2001, pp. 233-234; Monge & Contractor, 2001, pp. 463-464; Stohl, 2001, p. 324.

[70] Manyika & Roxburgh, 2011, pp. 3-4; Andriole S. J., 2010, p. 67; Turner, et al., 2010; Giovannetti, et al., 2003, p. 262; Kotter, 1996, p. 161.

[71] Allison, et al., 2015, pp. 686-688; Cichomska, et al., 2015, pp. 663-664, 668-671; Rief, 2015, pp. 60-61; Duarte & Snyder, 2006, pp. 31-40; Boczkowski & Orlikowski, 2004, pp. 359, 371-372.

[72] Allison, et al., 2015, pp. 686-688; Cichomska, et al., 2015, pp. 663-664, 668-671; Rief, 2015, pp. 60-61, 125-132.

[73] Oxford University Press, 2017b; Allison, et al., 2015, pp. 686-688; Cichomska, et al., 2015, pp. 663-664, 668-671; Rief, 2015, pp. 60-61, 125-132; Duarte & Snyder, 2006, pp. 31-40; Boczkowski & Orlikowski, 2004, pp. 363-364, 371-372.

[74] Rief, 2015, pp. 55-56.

[75] Rief, 2015, pp. 56-57; Jay, 1976.

[76] Rief, 2015, pp. 57-59; Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Jay, 1976.

[77] Rief, 2015, pp. 44-46, 50-55, 61-62; Allen, et al., 2014a.

[78] The adapted taxonomy is based on Geimer, et al., 2015; Rief, 2015, pp. 46, 54; Allen, et al., 2014a; Allen & Rogelberg, 2013; Cohen, et al., 2011; Leach, et al., 2009; McComas, et al., 2007; Chudoba, et al., 2005; Watson & Saunders, 2005; Tracy & Dimock, 2004, p. 127; McComas, 2003; Reinig & Shin, 2002; Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Clark, 1998; Volkema & Niederman, 1995; Schwartzman, 1989, p. 61; Jay, 1976.

[79] Mankins, et al., 2014; Stalk & Hout , 1990, pp. 1-4, 253-273.

[80] Van Vree, 2011.

[81] Allen, et al., 2012; Van Vree, 2011; Van Vree, 2002, pp. 3-4.

[82] Mankins, et al., 2014; Van Vree, 2002, pp. 3-4; Romano & Nunamaker, 2001.

[83] Mankins, 2004.

[84] Bargiela-Chiappini & Harris, 1997, p. 30.

[85] Davenport, 2005, pp. 1-7, defines a knowledge worker as an employee who contributes to a company’s growth and earns a living by “thinking”, mainly represented by roles in management, business and financial operations, computer science, engineering, and legal, among others. As per Mills, 1963, p. 55, they are also referred to as “white collar” workers.

[86] Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Petrovic, 1992.

[87] Rief, 2015, pp. 42-43.

[88] These numbers were calculated by multiplying the daily meeting time of 1 hour and 42 minutes for larger organizations and 54 minutes for a small organization with five working days. As per Monge, et al., 1989, p. 93, employees in medium-sized companies spend weekly around 6.3 hours of their time in meetings.

[89] Mosvick & Nelson, 1987, & Mosvick, 1986, both cited in Romano & Nunamaker, 2001.

[90] Rogelberg, et al., 2006.

[91] The data is based on an organization with 10,000 employees with 10 EVPs/SVPs, 80 VPs, 480 directors, 1,920 managers and 7,510 individual contributors, as per Bain & Company, 2014, p. 6.

[92] Geimer, et al., 2015; Mroz & Allen, 2015; Kauffeld & Lehmann-Willenbrock, 2012; Cohen, et al., 2011; Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Chaney & Lyden, 1997; Elsayed-Elkhouly, et al., 1997; Petrovic, 1992; Green & Lazarus, 1991; Jay, 1976.

[93] Kello, 2015, p. 717.

[94] The meeting time could be used for different, more value-creating activities.

[95] Employees do not only perceive a loss of time but actually do lose time, which increases their stress levels since less time will be available to fulfill other parts of their jobs. Based on the conservation of resources theory, this time loss represents a loss of energy, and this loss of resources is the main driver that causes and increases stress, as per Hobfoll, 2001; Hobfoll, 1989.

[96] Geimer, et al., 2015; Allen, et al., 2012; Allen, et al., 2008.

[97] Romano & Nunamaker, 2001.

[98] The data from Bain & Company, 2014, p. 6, is based on an organization with 10 EVPs/SVPs, 80 VPs, 480 directors, 1,920 managers and 7,510 individual contributors.

[99] Mosvick & Nelson, 1987, & Mosvick, 1986, both cited in Romano & Nunamaker, 2001.

[100] The numbers were calculated by using the 20% and 47% loss rate from Bain & Company and Mosvick & Nelson and applying it to Romano & Nunamaker’s meeting cost estimate of USD 30 million and Bain & Company’s USD 300 million estimate: Bain & Company, 2014, p. 6; Romano & Nunamaker, 2001; Mosvick & Nelson, 1987, & Mosvick, 1986, both cited in Romano & Nunamaker, 2001.

[101] Mankins, et al., 2014.

[102] Rogelberg, et al., 2012; Rogelberg, et al., 2007.

[103] Mankins, et al., 2014.

[104] Elsayed-Elkhouly, et al., 1997.

[105] Burns, 1978, p. 2.

[106] Stogdill, 1974, p. 259.

[107] Storey, 2011a, p. 15; Yukl, 2010, p. 2.

[108] Amazon.com, 2017.

[109] Storey, 2011a, pp. 15-18; Kets de Vries, 2010, p. 6; Gilmore, 2007, pp. 442-445; Sorenson & Goethals, 2004, pp. 867-874.

[110] Zaleznik, 1977.

[111] Bennis, 1989.

[112] Kotter, 1990.

[113] Mintzberg, 2009, pp. 8-9.

[114] Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, p. 80.

[115] Storey, et al., 2017, pp. 1-2.

[116] Kets de Vries, 2010, p. 2.

[117] Maslow, 1970; Maslow, 1943.

[118] Maslow, 1971; Maslow, 1969.

[119] Koltko-Rivera, 2006.

[120] Koltko-Rivera, 2006.

[121] Grint, et al., 2017, pp. 4-17.

[122] Kets de Vries, 2010, p. 6.

[123] Grint, et al., 2017, pp. 4-17; Storey, 2011a, p. 19; Kets de Vries, 2010, pp. 6-7; Yukl, 2010, p. 3; Nirenberg, 2004, pp. 844-845; Burns, 1978, p. 4; Zaleznik, 1977.

[124] Yukl & Mahsud, 2010; Bennis & Thomas, 2002, pp. 1, 92.

[125] Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016, p. 106; Packowski, 2014, p. 5; Gerras, 2010, p. 1; Johansen, 2007, pp. 1, 45; Yarger, 2006, pp. 17-18.

[126] Grint, 2011, pp. 13-14; Raes, et al., 2007.

[127] Yukl & Mahsud, 2010; Locke, 2005.

[128] Grint, et al., 2017, p. 17; Bennis, 2009, pp. 33-35.

[129] Kets de Vries, 2016, pp. 255-257; The Boston Consulting Group, 2015, pp. 13-16; Yukl, 2012.

[130] Yukl, 2012.

[131] Storey, 2011a, p. 34; Yukl, 2010, pp. 54-81; Avolio & Bass, 2002, pp. 1-8.

[132] Yukl, 2010, pp. 66-81, 344.

[133] Bird, et al., 2017, pp. 352-353; Yukl, 2012; Katz, 1955.

[134] Bird, et al., 2017, pp. 352-353; Ulrich & Allen, 2017, pp. 21-23; Yukl, 2012; Kets de Vries, 2010, pp. 29-31; Katz, 1955.

[135] Bird, et al., 2017, pp. 352-353; Ulrich & Allen, 2017, pp. 21-23; Yukl, 2012; Kets de Vries, 2010, pp. 26-33; Nirenberg, 2004, p. 849; Katz, 1955.

[136] Porter, 2001.

[137] Cadle, et al., 2014, pp. 3-6; Paul, et al., 2014, pp. 42-44; Mankiw, et al., 2013, pp. 40-46.

[138] Cadle, et al., 2014, pp. 14-16; Paul, et al., 2014, pp. 49-50; Mankiw, et al., 2013, pp. 257, 548.

[139] Cadle, et al., 2014, pp. 16-17; Ansoff, 1957.

[140] Bird, et al., 2017, pp. 352-353; Ulrich & Allen, 2017, pp. 21-23; Yukl, 2012; Kets de Vries, 2010, pp. 6, 27-32; Nirenberg, 2004, p. 849; Goffee & Jones, 2000; Flauto, 1999; Katz, 1955.

[141] The Boston Consulting Group, 2014, p. 3.

[142] Romero & Pescosolido, 2008.

[143] Cultural in this sense refers to regional cultural differences and different mentalities as well as variations in company culture.

[144] Such a noise source can be represented by a multitude of things, also in conjunction, e.g. certain behaviors, mentalities, ambiguous or unprecise vocabulary or terminology, different situations, feelings, available or lack of knowledge as well as external market, competitive or political conditions, among others.

[145] Röhner & Schütz, 2016, pp. 21-23, 29-35; Baran, et al., 2012; Kerzner, 2009, pp. 237-240; Heinen, 1991, pp. 254-256; Ajzen, 1987; Shannon, 1948.

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Title: Business Meetings and Leadership