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Call for Research

Special Issue of Small Group Research
“Meetings at Work: Advancing Theory and Practice”
Guest Editors: 
Cliff Scott
Linda Shanock
Steven Rogelberg
Organizational Science
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Small Group Research invites manuscripts for a special issue on work meetings to be published in 2011. In addition to publishing work currently under way or recently completed, our goal is to stimulate research on the topic of work meetings. As such, this special issue features an extended editorial timeline of one year that will allow authors to submit proposals for research that will be completed during the timeline associated with the special issue. Domains of interest are described below as well as some suggestions for potential research projects we encourage authors to consider pursuing.
Meeting activity in organizations is high and continues to rise in spite of technological advances once expected to diminish the need for this synchronous work. Regrettably, the time and energy employees spend in work meetings is not matched by the amount of direct attention group and organizational scholars have paid meeting phenomena. When meetings have been studied, they have typically been analyzed as a context for the exploration of some other topic (e.g., participation, decision making, distributed work). Such research has generated important findings and conclusions about general group processes, but very little of this work was intended to aid understanding of meetings in and of themselves and their impact on the lives of individuals, groups, and organizations. Consequently, few discrete streams or programs of research on meetings have been developed for the specific purpose of improving the theory and practice of meetings.
We invite authors to submit research designed for the purpose of extending or revising meeting theory and/or practice. Specifically, we seek manuscripts that fit within one or more of the following broad topic domains:
1)      Antecedents and outcomes associated with meeting demands. For example, what drives the use and overuse of meetings? How is meeting load and use affected by cultural, leadership and contextual factors (e.g., competitive pressures)? How is meeting load and use related to individual, team and organizational outcomes of interest?
2)      Antecedents and outcomes of work meeting quality or work meeting satisfaction. For example, what factors explain or predict employee satisfaction with particular meeting formats? What can leaders do to promote meeting quality? What are the overt and more subtle outcomes associated with poor quality meetings? 
3)      The relationship between work meeting phenomena (e.g., behavior, facilitation, technology, communication processes) and individual, organizational and/or institutional processes that transcend the meeting group. For example, how do meetings reflect organizational cultures/climates and/or reify them? What role do meetings play in the transformation of organizational or institutional cultures? What is the relationship between perceived meeting qualities and desired employee attitudes such as member engagement or perceived organizational support at the organizational level of analysis?  How do human resource management and talent management systems tie into meeting behavior, practices, individual accountability, etc.?
4)      The significance or impact of informal social practices that occur in work meetings (e.g., lateness, dissent, conversational maintenance techniques, turn taking patterns, methods of eliciting or discouraging participation) or formal work meeting characteristics (e.g., whether a supervisor is present, whether an agenda is used, meeting type or purpose). For example, what meeting characteristics or behaviors are most associated with negative outcomes in the context of a given meeting type (e.g., information sharing, decision making, etc.)? Are meeting agendas more or less predictive of meeting satisfaction in decision making meetings (versus staff/information sharing meetings)?
5)      The relationship between work meeting content (e.g., meeting talk, meeting discourse, discussion procedures, social practices) and other group, organizational, and/or institutional phenomena. For example, how does meeting communication contribute to the reproduction or transformation of organizational structures and processes?  How do particular meeting facilitation practices encourage or inhibit learning? What are the functions of premeeting talk in multicultural settings?  How do meeting contribute to the informal socialization and enculturation of new employees?  How do leader actions in meetings impact their overall effectiveness? 
Submissions may be empirical (quantitative or qualitative) or conceptual, and we welcome work from a range of theoretical, methodological and disciplinary perspectives. Conceptual papers should focus on advancing work meeting theory or practice in a significant manner. Data presented in empirical papers may concern work meetings that occur for a variety of purposes (e.g., planning, decision making, information sharing and so on) in a range of organizational and institutional settings (for profit, nonprofit, small business, corporate, government and so on). Although it is certainly not a requirement, the editors are particularly interested in publishing manuscripts authored by interdisciplinary teams and/or those that reflect inter-, multi-, or transdisciplinary perspectives.
Interested authors should submit concept proposals no longer than 750 words by December 1, 2009. Authors of accepted concept proposals must submit complete manuscripts for consideration no later than September 1, 2010. Proposals may summarize studies that have already been conducted or those that will be conducted in the future. Acceptance of a concept proposal does not imply that submitted manuscripts will be published or returned for revision.
Concept proposals should be submitted to SGR’s Manuscript Central website, http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/sgr, where submitters will be required to set up an account. Authors submitting manuscripts to the journal should not simultaneously submit them to another journal, nor should they submit manuscripts that have been published elsewhere in substantially similar form or with substantially similar content. Authors in doubt about what constitutes prior publication should consult one of the co-editors.  Submission of a manuscript implies commitment to publish in the journal. SGR uses APA (5th edition) style and formatting.
We strongly encourage potential authors to contact us as any time to discuss an idea or concept prior to any deadline.  E-mail: cliff.scott@uncc.edu