Title: Training managers to facilitate their meetings: an intervention study

Authors: Ib Ravn

Addresses: Department of Education, Aarhus University, Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract: Meetings in organisations are a common object of popular frustration. They are often run by managers who picked up their meeting skills from their superiors a generation previously, thus perpetuating obsolescent practices unsuited to today's world of work. This paper reports on a research-based intervention effort to improve organisational meetings. It reconceptualises classical meeting management, offering instead the practice of 'meeting facilitation': a more active and supportive approach, in which the manager-as-facilitator guides and directs conversations in meetings towards a positive goal. To test this reconceptualisation in a live experiment intended to improve real meetings, we conducted brief training of 103 managers in meeting facilitation in two organisations in Denmark. A pre- and post-intervention survey of a thousand employees who regularly participated in these managers' meetings showed that in the employees' judgement, there were significant improvements in their managers' competencies in both new meeting facilitation and classical meeting management, whereas other meeting outcomes resisted change.

Keywords: organisational meetings; meeting management; group facilitation; meeting facilitation; competency development; management development; management training; management practice; design-based research; transformative research; intervention; Denmark.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMP.2014.060544

International Journal of Management Practice, 2014 Vol.7 No.1, pp.70 - 87

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 18 Apr 2014 *

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