I am planning a research project on workplace meetings in which I want to start with a large survey (probably online) of individual citizens about their meetings at work as well as elsewhere (especially in various forms of volunteering, citizen engagement and activism). So, instead of sampling organizations, I am sampling individuals, which - I believe - has rarely been done in our field, and I’m curious what results this might bring.
Based on the answers of the mass-survey, I intend to identify a limited number of respondents for follow-up telephone interviews which will obviously go into more depth. And finally, I would like to actually visit some of these respondents at their workplace to gather ethnographic data about the meetings in that organization so that I’ll have a nice mix of quantitative and qualitative data.
As I am writing the project description, I am thinking that it would be interesting to do this in an internationally comparative way and so I thought I’d mention this here to see if anyone would be interested in such an endeavour. So even if this not something you can/want to do now, but perhaps sometime in the future, let me know so that we can work together to make the datasets as compatible as possible from the start.
Also, please let me know about any similar survey based studies (ongoing, planned, or past)!
So just to be a bit more specific about the research questions, here are the five core dimensions of the intended project as they currently stand:
- provide a quantitative data-set about the characteristics of organizational meetings across industries (including, but not limited to: number of meetings, duration, purpose, participants, methods and technologies used, distribution of formal roles, etc),
- identify common beliefs about meetings and how they are experienced by participants (e.g. their role in the organization, how they work and how they should work, what makes a meeting good/bad, etc)
- explore the relationship between meeting cultures and working environment as well as job satisfaction.
- analyze how participation in meetings outside the workplace, especially in voluntary organizations, social movements, and other forms of citizen engagement, affects perceptions of workplace meetings and how they are organized (e.g. do members of popular movements bring useful meeting skills – such as facilitation skills – to their workplace?).
- analyze how digital technology affects meeting practices and meeting cultures, in particular how information technologies are used to either improve or substitute face-to-face meetings (and with what effect).
What do you think?