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Perceived Meeting Effectiveness: The Role of Design Characteristics



The aim of this investigation was to test hypotheses about meeting design characteristics (punctuality, chairperson, etc.) in relation to attendees’ perceptions of meeting effectiveness.


Two studies were conducted: Study 1 investigated meetings attended in a typical week (N = 958), whereas Study 2 examined the last meeting attended on a particular day (N = 292).


A number of design characteristics (in particular agenda use and quality of facilities) were found to be important in predicting perceived effectiveness. Attendee involvement served as a key mediator variable in the observed relationships. Neither meeting type nor size was found to affect the relationships of the design characteristics and involvement with effectiveness. Meeting size, however, was negatively related to attendee involvement.


The findings help us to better understand relationships between design characteristics and attendees’ perceptions of meeting effectiveness. Meeting organizers can use the findings to guide administration of meetings, with potential to enhance the quality of meetings.


Meetings are a common organizational activity but are rarely the focus of empirical research. The use of two complementary studies, to our knowledge, provides a unique account of the contribution of design characteristics to perceptions of meeting effectiveness.

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Correspondence to Desmond J. Leach.

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Received and reviewed by former editor, George Neuman.

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Leach, D.J., Rogelberg, S.G., Warr, P.B. et al. Perceived Meeting Effectiveness: The Role of Design Characteristics. J Bus Psychol 24, 65–76 (2009).

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  • Meeting effectiveness
  • Design characteristics
  • Attendee involvement