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Why are meetings important? New book explains

A book on a table in an empty conference room.
The book "Why Meetings Matter – Everyday Arenas for Making, Performing and Maintaining Organisations"

A place to discuss issues, to make decisions and for brainstorming ideas. Meetings are necessary for the development of a workplace. Even so, claims of the opposite is often heard. With “Why meetings matter” the writers want to acknowledge this social phenomenon that’s so important and yet so hated.

 “Why meetings matter” argues that meetings are a crucial feature of modern organisations, demonstrating that, contrary to popular belief, meetings are what define, represent and maintain organisations. The book emphasises how negotiations, collaborations and power dynamics are performed during meetings, making meetings the most fundamental working map of organisational hierarchies.

– Our book is about what meetings do in an organisation, beyond an everyday and often instrumental understanding that in meetings specific decisions are made that lead to visible development. We argue that the organisation is realised, or made, through meetings. Meetings consolidate and legitimise both activities and collaborations and create continuity. With our book we want to show how this happens, in social interactions, in both physical and digital meetings, says Erika Andersson Cederholm.

About the book

Why Meetings Matter – Everyday Arenas for Making, Performing and Maintaining Organisations

Through an in-depth analysis of ethnographic case studies the authors illustrate the inner workings of meetings, exploring phenomena such as meeting chains, meeting escapes, the digitalisation of meetings, subtle meeting diplomacy, and seductive business events. Ultimately, Why Meetings Matter highlights the crucial importance of meetings in an increasingly collaborative professional working landscape.

Offering a cutting-edge approach to a longstanding social phenomenon, this book will be of great interest to academics, students and researchers in the fields of sociology, political science and organisation studies. Including ethnographic studies with practical case-based applications, it will appeal in particular to office-based professionals as it provides new insights into a taken-for-granted workplace activity.

The authors

Patrik Hall, Professor of Political Science, Department of Global Political Studies, Malmö University 
Malin Åkerström, Professor Emerita, Department of Sociology, Lund University
Erika Andersson Cederholm, Professor of Service Studies, Department of Service Studies, Lund University

The book on the publishers website.