The science of corporate meetings have assumed increased academic interest (Allen et al., 2008) in the past three decades seemingly due to increases in corporate scandals, increased corporate failures, rapid and disruptive changes in the business environment, growth in conglomerate structures, increased competition, and reduced product lifecycles. The present descriptive study seeks to critically analyse the significant role of corporate meetings as instruments for organizational effectiveness. There is limited research related to corporate meetings from a social network perspective. The corporation is the main form of corporate activity in any country; hence the proper functioning of the corporation is essential for economic development. Corporate meetings are essential in ensuring the alignment of corporate activities at various levels of the organization’s hierarchy. The effectiveness and alignment of all corporate meetings determines an organization’s overall effectiveness and subsequently economic performance.
The research adopted an inductive methodology by means of discourse analysis and social network analysis of qualitative meeting descriptions with reference to four companies. The discourse analysis was important in understanding the ties in an interaction network. The social network analysis was applied to examine meetings interaction data among different levels of the organization’s hierarchy based on three fundamental social network theory constructs of bridging, closure and leader centrality. It is useful in visualizing and understanding the diverse relationships that either facilitate or impede knowledge sharing. The researcher adopted purposive sampling in order to assess the meetings in the four organizations. The interpretivist epistemological position was adopted based on the researcher’s first hand information about corporate meetings and the respondents’ last three corporate meetings and general workplace experience. The study was exploratory, explanatory, and predominantly descriptive.
The study shows that corporate meetings save several purposes and are essential in driving organizational effectiveness. The nature of the aims and purposes of an organization varies at different levels of the organization’s hierarchy based on the extent of closure and bridging ties. Results show that all the six meetings, has an inclination towards discussions on the state of the business. In line with the hierarchical view of the corporation, the results from the analysis of the different meeting purposes indicate the power and politics differences in organizational life (Finkelstein, 1992). Meetings interaction is an important ingredient for organizational effectiveness as the different purposes at different organizational levels will be aligned. The study shows that when an organization’s strategy, goals, and activities are aligned, the organization will gain and sustain a competitive advantage.