Do They Contribute to Stakeholder Value and Personal Meaning?
Meetings in organizations have evolved from the infrequent, slightly authoritarian meeting of the 1950?s to today?s ubiquitous and often longwinded, every-body-has-a-right-to-speak meeting. But two important, recent trends in work and business pose new challenges. Today, organizational work is seen as having to serve organizational stakeholders (such as customers and users), and work must be subjectively meaningful to the modern, well-educated employee. Do meetings answer to these challenges? A survey of 300 knowledge workers in five highly successful, knowledge-intensive corporations in Denmark showed that although employees were satisfied with their managers; traditional meeting-management skills, the customer was largely invisible in organizational meetings, and the hearts and minds of the employees were not engaged to any significant degree in meetings. It is concluded that despite massive changes in business and work life, the meeting has changed little. It has been poorly integrated into the organizational value chain and is rarely experienced as very important to either customers or employees.