Understanding Project Meetings as Conversational Dramas: A Close Study of the Co-construction of a Common Project Goal

By Christina Mauléon.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presents a close study of a project meeting which had the purpose of creating a shared understanding, within the project, of the project goal. The aim of the paper is to contribute to more knowledge of what may go on in such meetings, as this knowledge can support joint directed action in both projects and organizations. The setting is an introductory meeting to Knowledge Overlapping Seminars (KOS) in a Six Sigma project with actors from different knowledge domains participating. Design: Participative observation and action research. Findings: This study shows how the co-construction of a shared understanding of the project goal was a highly emotional process. In the meeting co-construction involved the negotiation and re-negotiation of the project member’s different perspectives of the project goal. By accepting and managing the emotional turns in the meeting the facilitator supported the actor’s co-construction of a shared understanding of the project goal. Value: Through its thick descriptions this study contributes to the understanding of how identity, emotion and co-construction of a shared understanding are intertwined relational processes which shape and are shaped in action and as such can affect organizational outcomes.

Keywords: Action, Co-construction, Conversation, Emotion, Identity, Joint Directed Action, Meaning Making, Project Meeting

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.9-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 247.111KB).

Dr. Christina Mauléon

Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Business Administration, Department of Management and Organisation, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Borås, Gothenburg, Sweden

Christina Mauléon is senior lecturer in Business Administration at the University of Borås, Sweden and a Human Resource lecturer at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. She holds a PhD in Technology Management and Economics from Chalmers University of Technology and also a M. Sc. in Human Resource Management and Work Sciences from Linköping University. Building upon these two backgrounds, her research within organizational studies are cross-disciplinary. The practical intent of her research is to investigate how organizing processes shape and are shaped in action, as such knowledge can support quality, reliability, efficiency and sustainability in organizations.