More meetings are happening in the workplace than ever before. Meeting information gets lost or forgotten during and after meetings due to poor meeting and knowledge practices. Learning opportunities are missed during team meetings due to competing priorities, information overload, lack of shared attention, divergent mental modes and failure to actively identify and incorporate relevant learning sessions.
Though an interpretivist research paradigm and qualitative research methodology this research sought to understand the real-world phenomena of knowledge practices, learning and group memory in team meetings. The research design was grounded in design-based research. Two qualitative data analysis methods were applied - video ethnography and conversation analysis.
The study was a developmental sequence from spontaneous to structured knowledge practices, team learning and group memory. An initial observational study was followed by the main research project of analysing six meetings with a senior leadership team in the telecommunication industry.
Micro-learning sessions and meeting reflections were immediately applied into meeting practices. The meeting reflexivity outcomes were continually applied to improving meeting performance and practices. Both learning activities were incorporated into the rich meeting summaries meeting knowledge practices for on-going improvements and deepening group memory.
The group memory phenomena of ‘looking back acts’ emerged. These phenomena were the catalyst to investigating group memory in depth and how it served the need to deal with uncertainty, provide confirmation and a sense of structure. The knowledge practice of rich meeting summaries deepened group memory. The meeting reflections contributed to group memory and improved meeting performance.
Fundamental to meeting group memory was the importance of recording and retrieving meeting information through a digital group memory and learning as critical components in advancing meeting performance and practices. This research shows that attention to group memory in team meetings improves learning and knowledge building. These meeting learning interventions, along with the group memory phenomena, set the foundations for the design principles, which include intervention guidelines.