Group Process and Meetings

  • Claire B. Halverson
Part of the Advances in Group Decision and Negotiation book series (AGDN, volume 3)

In any culture or organization there may be effective or ineffective meetings. There often are individual perspectives on what happened during a meeting and how effective it was, as illustrated by the quote above. It is not unusual to find subgroups of people rehashing a meeting after it has ended, offering criticisms they did not voice during the meeting. Although at the meeting the discussion addressed the content of such issues as problems to be solved, work to be coordinated, or progress on projects, team members were most likely also noticing the process of how discussions were conducted.

Many teams do not overtly discuss the process that is used to accomplish a task. Particularly in multicultural teams, where there are differing beliefs, assumptions, and values that impact how people behave and how they think others should behave, it is important to be aware of group process. Those who are aware of the process may then be able to intervene to improve the group’s effectiveness. This will help move covert processes to more overt and intentional ones. This chapter will discuss principal components of small-group process: leadership, communication, conflict, and problem solving. The four chapters that follow will each focus on one of these components.

The chapter will also discuss roles and behaviors of team members, and describe procedures for effective team meetings.


Team Member Conflict Management Relationship Conflict Task Conflict Process Observation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alston, J. (1985). The American Samurai: Blending American and Japanese Managerial Practices. Walter de Gruyter, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Ayman, R. and Chemers, M.M. (1983). Relationship of supervisory behavior ratings to work group effectiveness and subordinate satisfaction among Iranian managers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 68(2), 338–341. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bargiela-Chiappini, F., Bülow-Møller, A., Nickerson, C., Poncini, G. and Zhu, Y. (2003). Five perspectives on intercultural business communication: Focus on research. Business Communication Quarterly, 66(3), 73–96. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benne, K.D. and Sheats, P. (1948). Functional roles of group members. Journal of Social Issues, 4(2), 41–49.Google Scholar
  5. Burbidge, J. (1994). A time of participation. Journal for Quality and Participation, 2-8.Google Scholar
  6. Conger, J. (1989). Leadership: the art of empowering others. Academy of Management Executive, 3 (1), 17–24. Google Scholar
  7. Copeland, L. and Griggs, L. (1985). Going International. New York: Random House. Google Scholar
  8. Cox, T.H., Lobel, S.A. and McLeod, P.L. (1991). Effects of ethnic group cultural differences on cooperative and competitive behavior on a group task. Academy of Management Journal, 34 (4), 827–847. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Enayati, J. (2001). The Research: effective communication and decision-making in diverse groups. In M. Hemmati (Ed.), Multi-Stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability— Beyond Deadlock and Conflict. London, England: Earthscan. Google Scholar
  10. Ford, R.C. and Fottler, M.D. (1995). Empowerment: a matter of degree. Academy of Management Executive, 9(3), 21–31. Google Scholar
  11. Forrester, R. (2000). Empowerment: rejuvenating a potent idea. Academy of Management Executive, 14(3), 67–80.Google Scholar
  12. Gibson, C.B. and Zellmer-Bruhn, M.E. (2001). Metaphors and meaning: an intercultural analysis of the concept of teamwork. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(2), 274–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harrison, D.A., Price, K.H., Gavin, J.H. and Florey, A.T. (2002). Time, teams, and task performance: changing effects of diversity on group functioning. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 1029–1045. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Iles, P. (1995). Learning to work with difference. L Personnel review, 24(6), 44–60. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jehn, K., Northcraft, G. and Neale, M. (1999). Why differences make a difference: A field study of diversity, conflict, and performance in workgroups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44 (4), 741–763. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kabanoff, B. (1991). Equity, equality, power, and conflict. Academy of Management Review, 16(2), 416–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirkman, B.L. and Rosen, B. (1999). Beyond self-management: Antecedents and consequences of team empowerment. Academy of Management Journal, 42(1), 58–74. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kopp, R. (2005). Communication challenges between Americans and Japanese in the workplace. Transcultural Management Review, 2 (Nov.), 70–77. Google Scholar
  19. Marks, M., Mathieu, J. and Zaccaro, S. (2001). A temporally based framework and taxonomy of team processes. The Academy of Management Review, 26(3), 356–377. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marshak, R. and Katz, J. (1997). Diagnosing covert processes in groups and organizations. OD Practitioner, 29(1), 33–42. Google Scholar
  21. Milliken, F.J. and Martins, L.L. (1996). Searching for common threads: Understanding the multiple effects of diversity in organizational groups. The Academy of Management Review, 21(2), 402–434. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mohammed, S. and Angell, L. (2004). Surface- and deep-level diversity in workgroups: Examining the moderating effects of team orientation and team process on relationship conflict. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 1015–1039. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Morrison, E.W. (1994). Role definitions and organizational citizenship behavior: The importance of the employee’s perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 1543–1567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mudrack, P. and Farrell, G. (1995). An examination of functional role behavior and its conse-quences for individuals in group settings. Small Group Research, 26, 542–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nadler, L.B, Nadler, M. and Broome, B.J. (1985). Culture and the Management of Conflict Situations. International and Intercultural Communications Annual, 87-113.Google Scholar
  26. Oetzel, J.G. (1998). Culturally homogeneous and heterogeneous groups: Explaining communica-tion processes through individualism-collectivism and self-construal. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 22, 135–161. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Olsson, M. (1985). Meeting Styles for Intercultural Groups. AFS Occasional Papers in Inter-cultural Learning, 1-18.Google Scholar
  28. Orsburn, J. (1990). Self-directed Work Teams: The New American Challenge. Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin. Google Scholar
  29. Pelled, L. (1996). Demographic diversity, conflict, and work group outcomes: An intervening process theory. Organization Science, 17, 615–631. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pelled, L.H., Eisenhardt, K.M. and Xin, K.R. (1999). Exploring the black box: An analysis of work group diversity, conflict, and performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 1–28. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pfeffer, J. and Veiga, J.F. (1999). Putting people first for organizational success. Academy of Management Executive, 13(2), 37–48. Google Scholar
  32. Pillai, R. and Meindl, J.R. (1998). Context and charisma: A ‘meso’ level examination of the relationship of organic structure, collectivism, and crisis to charismatic leadership. Journal of Management, 24, 643–671. Google Scholar
  33. Sisaye, S. and Siegel, P.H. (1997). An analysis of the difference between organizational identifica-tion and professional commitment: A study of certified public accountants. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 18(3), 149–165. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sisaye, S. (2005). New directions for managing work teams. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26(1), 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Weaver, R. and Farrell, J. (1997). Mangers as Facilitators. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  36. Wellins, R.S., Byham, W. and Wilson, J. (1991). Empowered Teams. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Google Scholar


  1. Organizations International Association of Facilitators: National Training Laboratories, Inc.:  Books
  2. Eitington, J. (2002). The Winning Trainer. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing. Google Scholar
  3. Gardenswartz, L. and Rowe, A. (1994). Diverse Teams at Work. Chicago, IL: Irwin. Google Scholar
  4. Weaver, R. and Farrell, J. (1997). Mangers as Facilitators. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire B. Halverson
    • 1
  1. 1.School for International TrainingBrattleboroUSA

Personalised recommendations