Meetings, practice and beyond: Environmental sustainability in meeting practices at work
2013 (English)In: Nachhaltigkeit in der Wirtschaftskommunikation / [ed] Martin Nielsen, Iris Rittenhofer, Marianne Grove Ditlevsen, Sophie Esmann Andersen, Irene Pollach, Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden , 2013, 159-190 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
The study shows how the employees at a large transnational telecom company understand and accommodate the implemented travel and meeting policies that regulate business communication. This involves looking at employee decisions on when, how and why to hold meetings. The subsequent understandings of meetings and their practice is formed through negotiation and the formation of a ‘social matrix of workplace communication (meetings)’(Bateson & Reusch 2009). This social matrix and its contexts are analysed from the perspective of environmental sustainability of office work practice. The basis for this is the recent implementation of company-wide restrictions on travel aiming to encourage the use of mediated meetings instead of travel for face-to-face meetings. Some issues that emerge are shared meanings of meetings, more specifically the perceived importance of the physical meeting in a workplace where telephone meetings were the norm. This shows that even if the technological possibilities for mediated meetings and by extension a more flexible work practice exist, they are not regarded as default but seen as complementary to conventional work practices. The need to find a balance in between mediated and physical meetings comes across as a recurring theme in both interviews and policy documents. As a result the ongoing negotiation of which meetings are deemed necessary to be held in person and thereby requiring travel, is embedded within TeliaSonera employees' notions that face-to-face meetings are better and more efficient than mediated meetings. Subsequently the collective view that mediated meetings are not as successful as face-to-face meetings becomes a central to the character of workplace communication. This negotiation is carried out on an individual level as well as on a more organisational level. When carried out on an organisational level these negotiations occur in policy documents which can sometimes contradict employee perspectives and are equally subject to contextual factors (cf. Kogg 2002). Other related issues present in the empirical data are the blurring of the divide between work and home in relation to the changes in work practices and information and communication technology (ICT).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden , 2013. 159-190 p.
, Europäische Kulturen in der Wirtschaftskommunikation, 24
environmental sustainability, ICT, (social) practice, work-related travel, mediated meeting, sustainable communication
Social Anthropology Environmental Management Communication Studies Work Sciences Human Aspects of ICT
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-129041DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-03452-8_8ISBN: 978-3-658-03451-1ISBN: 978-3-658-03452-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-129041DiVA: diva2:649350
QC 201310172013-09-182013-09-182015-10-23Bibliographically approved