Linking pre-meeting communication to meeting effectiveness
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose – The present study investigates the importance of communication that occurs just before workplace meetings (i.e., pre-meeting talk). We explore how pre-meeting talk impacts meeting effectiveness through the” ripple effect”, allowing before meeting communication/behaviors to ripple into and impact the scheduled meeting. Moreover, we investigate the role of participants’ personality in the context of pre-meeting talk effects. Design/methodology/approach –Data was obtained using an online survey of working adults (N = 252). Because pre-meeting talk has not been studied previously, a new survey measure of meeting talk was developed. Findings –Pre-meeting small talk was a significant predictor of meeting effectiveness, above and beyond good meeting procedures. Participants’ extraversion was identified as a moderator in this context, such that the relationship between pre-meeting talk and perceived meeting effectiveness was stronger for more introvert participants.Research limitations/implications –Pre-meeting talk is identified as an important determinant of meeting attendees’ evaluations of their meetings. This finding provides the first empirical support for the ripple effect in relation to pre-meeting talk and workplace meetings. To address limitations inherent in the cross-section correlational design of the study, future research should experimentally test whether pre-meeting talk actually causes changes in meeting processes and outcomes.Practical implications – Managers should encourage their employees to arrive in time to participate in pre-meeting talk. Side conversations before a scheduled meeting starts can have beneficial effects for meeting outcomes and should be fostered.