The first interdisciplinary meeting-conference – University of Copenhagen

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23 June 2017

The first interdisciplinary meeting-conference

CIRCD researchers Mie Femø Nilsen and Brian Due participated with paper presentations at the first international interdisciplinary conference on meetings: The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium. 23-24 May 2017. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The emerging field of meeting science (or meeting research) has been flourishing in recent years. The aim of this symposium was to foster dialogue in this highly interdisciplinary field and to build a network of scholars with a shared interest in face-to-face meetings. This symposium is the first attempt ever to bring together meeting researchers from all social sciences to create synergies and cross-fertilization between meetings related research that has so far taken place in relative isolation from each other. Participants come from disciplines such as social anthropology, organizational communication, sociology, workplace studies, linguistics, political science, psychology, management, and even applied IT (Group Support Systems).

Read more at the conference homepage: https://kunsido.net/gmss/

Brian Due participated with the paper: Using video-feedback as a learning format in workshops

Good relations and effective communication patterns are crucial for high performance teams (Salas, Goodwin, & Burke, 2008). Much of this is accomplished at meetings in and through the detailed and sequential organization of actions in micro ecologies (Asmuß & Svennevig, 2009). The successful and unsuccessful interactions around meeting activity types like e.g. deciding, informing, and ideating are grounded in details in the situated multimodal encounters. In order to “fix” interactional issues, we have been working on developing a video-based interaction improvement method (Due & Lange, 2015; Due, Lange, & Trærup, forth.).

From an EMCA (Button & Sharrock, 2016), applied CA (Antaki, 2011) and multimodal (Streeck, Goodwin, & LeBaron, 2011) perspective, we video record meetings and interactions, analyze details displayed in social interaction and present findings to participants based on video clips. This is conducted in a workshop format with the aim of securing learning (Wenger, 2000). We have been working with four different Danish organizations; a large company, an NGO, a small software company and a large optician chain store where staff where on workshops. The data consists of video recordings of social interaction and field notes.

In this paper, we will present the overall steps in the method. We will then especially focus on the issues regarding harvesting the learning potentials during the meetings/workshop with a focus on challenges concerning a) how to present video clips in the most relevant way and c) how to facilitate the workshop in best ways.

References: Antaki, C. (Ed.). (2011). Applied Conversation Analysis: Intervention and Change in Institutional Talk (1st ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. Asmuß, B., & Svennevig, J. (2009). Meeting Talk: An Introduction. Journal of Business Communication, 46(1), 3–22. Button, G., & Sharrock, W. (2016). In support of conversation analysis radical agenda. Discourse Studies, 18(5), 610–620. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445616657955 Due, B. L., & Lange, S. (2015). Videobased Reflection on Team and employee Interaction. Circd Working Papers in Social Interaction, (1 (3)), 1–38. Due, B. L., Lange, S., & Trærup, J. (forth.). Video learning: en videobaseret læringsmetode. In M. Kjær & J. Davidsen (Eds.), Perspektiver på videoanalyse Introduktion til metode og teori i praksis.

Mie Femø Nielsen participated with the paper: The interactional use of sticky notes in business meetings and workshops

Sticky notes were invented by mistake by 3M. Dr. Spencer Silver accidentally created a “low-tack,” reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive in 1968 when he was working on developing a super-strong adhesive. He promoted his “solution without a problem” within 3M both informally and through seminars and in 1974 his colleague, Art Fry, came up with the idea of using the adhesive to anchor his bookmark in his hymnbook and then developed the idea further with his team. The original notes’ yellow color was also chosen by accident, as the lab had only yellow scrap paper in stock. Today they come in different colours, shapes and sizes, and competing companies sell them under different names.

It is the basic physical properties of Post-Its/stickies/sticky notes that makes them interesting for the study of social interaction: It is paper that can be glued to something without getting stuck so that they can be moved and glued to something else. Participants can write on it, draw on it, look at it, read what is on it, point to it, touch it, select it, stick it to something, move it, reapply it to something (else), talk about it, create patterns or pictures with it, store it and throw it away.

It has been argued that the visual, moveable, inscribable and tangible qualities of sticky notes make them perspicuous objects for investigations of multimodality, embodiment, text and materiality in interaction (Day and Wagner 2014). But not much research has been done on the use of sticky notes in social interaction.

Sticky notes can be used to simulate a lot of the actions we know from other kinds of social interaction, and they can be used to do something else, too. It is equally interesting when postits can be used to do similar things as regular turns at talk, and when they can be used to do something more or different. This paper proposes a review of the most important interactional functions of sticky notes in business meetings and workshops:

1. Contribute to social activities
2. Record contributions
3. Enable and chair participation
4. Orchestrate sequences of actions
5. Secure fluidity and transience
6. Enable collaborative sensemaking
7. Communicate results and identities

In this paper I will address the social actions enabled by sticky notes and discuss the impacts of those for social interaction, and present data pertaining to these issues. The focus is on how they are treated in the interaction as objects and as turns-at-talk. I will analyze examples of some of the most fundamental functions.

The data for this study are taken from a large pool of video recordings of workshops and business meetings. The analyses draw on conversation analysis and ethnomethodology, and transcripts are made in accordance with the notation system originally developed by Gail Jefferson