Research of social interaction in meetings

Hi everyone,

I am a research of social interaction, interested in joint decision-making during meetings. I In my PhD (2013), I used conversation analysis to study small-scale informal workplace meetings between two or three professionals, trying to identify how exactly decisions emerged in these encounters (if they did at all).

Now I am studying group meetings in the context of mental health rehabilitation in a third-sector rehabilitation community. In these meetings, the explicit goal is to make consensus-based decisions, but often quite a lot of interactional work is required from the support workers to maintain the ideal. I study how the support workers construct the decisions that emerge in these meetings as “joint” ones – as ones that have emerged out of some kind of a “collective” process.

So, in any case, I’m very interested in networking with people with interest in the details of decision-making interaction.



Dear Melisa and others,
At the Meeting Science Symposium in Copenhagen last week, I presented a paper on decision making, Hereby, I share with you this paper: An Advanced Model of Decision-Making in Workplace Meetings’.
Wilbert van Vree.

Paper Decision-Making Wilbert van Vree.pdf (451.7 KB)


I share your interest in decisions and what they look like in CA terms. In my book on the Cuban missile crisis I analyze how Kennedy’s decision to impose a naval blockade on Cuba arose out of a conversation in which the dangers of doing so were increasingly suppressed.

In another chapter I look at how Kennedy’s advisers thwarted his attempts to make any decision about intercepting a particular ship.

Right now I’m analyzing minutes from other meetings of the U.S. National Security Council, where one question is when, exactly, the minute-taker perceived a decision as having been made.

I also do work on juries but not, so far, on the moment of decision.

I look forward to hearing more about your work.


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Welcome to the Forum. It’s great to have you here!

I definitely belong to these people and I think this is an excellent opportunity to share some references that we found useful.

When you say “details of decision-making interaction” I assume you mean the kinds of details that conversation analysts look at, but I suppose we don’t have to be dogmatic about that… :slight_smile:

So here are some references that I’ve found particularly useful when it comes to understanding decision-making in interaction (the selection is rather arbitrary and subjective, but if I’d aspire to compile a comprehensive list, I’d never get it done):

Barnes, R. (2007). Formulations and the facilitation of common agreement in meetings talk. Text & Talk, 27(3), 273–296.

Beatty, J., & Moore, A. (2010). Should We Aim for Consensus? Episteme, 7(3), 198–214. doi:10.3366/E1742360010000948

Clifton, J. (2009). Beyond Taxonomies of Influence: “Doing” Influence and Making Decisions in Management Team Meetings. Journal of Business Communication, 46(1), 57–79. doi:10.1177/0021943608325749

Huisman, M. (2001). Decision-Making in Meetings as Talk-in-Interaction. International Studies of Management and Organization, 31(3), 69–90.

Nullmeier, F., & Pritzlaff, T. (2009). The implicit normativity of political practices: Analyzing the dynamics and power relations of committee decision-making. Critical Policy Studies, 3(3), 357-374. doi:10.1080/19460171003619758

Stevanovic, M. (2012). Establishing joint decisions in a dyad. Discourse Studies, 14(6), 779–803. doi:10.1177/1461445612456654

Stevanovic, M., & Peräkylä, A. (2012). Deontic Authority in Interaction: The Right to Announce, Propose, and Decide. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 45(3), 297-321. doi:10.1080/08351813.2012.699260

Feel free to share your own favourite texts on decision-making. :slight_smile:

Thank you for trying out this forum. I have found it to be useful, informational and intellectually convivial.