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Entitativity leads to meeting success

Establishing meetings as role model for team spirit and culture





Team spirit, group identity or entitativity: the feeling to belong is a substantial parameter whether meetings are effecitive or not. Best preparation, tough moderation and consequent follow-ups are not sufficient if participants not perceive themselves as a group that a) has common goals, b) meet over a longer period of time and c) interact regularly. This is the conclusion of a recently published US-study. Apropos interaction: entitativity is mainly triggered by a support of dissent – where there is always space for discussing controversial opinions positive group identity rises.

Managers should therefore, according to the researchers, establish meetings frequently as role models for high quality collaboration. If dissens is not managed professionally in meetings, it won´t happen anywhere else in the working place as well.

Blanchard/McBride/Allen, „Perceiving Meetings as Groups: How Entitativity Links Meeting Characteristics to Meeting Success”, in: Psychology of Leaders and Leadership”, 2022, vol. 25, nr. 2, 90 – 113.

From the practice:

Any study that contribute to more effectiveness of meetings – currently only 50% of all meetings are considered to be effective, the other half seems to be waste of time – is warmly welcomed. It is unbelievable how much time and money is lost by bad and unprofessional meetings, let alone how this gets on anybody´s nerves.

What I do like when going through the actual study is the idea that meeting are role models for the targeted sort of collaboration. Let me summarize like this: 1. In relevant, periodical meetings employees can perceive themselves as groups – frequently better and more sustainably than by all those extra team building events. 2. In these meetings they should experience how they, how groups in this specific working place are functioning at a highest standards. This means, though that we do need much much more competence of managers in developing, running and leading meetings.

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