Too Many Meetings? Scheduling Rules for Team Coordination

72 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2021 Last revised: 26 Jul 2023

See all articles by Guillaume Roels

Guillaume Roels

INSEAD - Technology and Operations Management

Charles J. Corbett

University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson School of Business

Date Written: July 24, 2023

Abstract

Workers in knowledge-intensive industries often complain of having too many meetings, but organizations still give little thought to deciding when or how often to meet. In this paper, we investigate the efficiency and robustness of various coordination scheduling rules. We consider a situation where workers are engaged in a common activity (e.g., software programming) that can be divided into largely independent, parallel production tasks, but that necessitates periodic coordination. Coordination enables workers to address issues they have encountered in their independent work, but takes time away from production. Using a stylized game-theoretic model, we show that small teams allow a more fluid, i.e., need-based, approach to scheduling
coordination, such as preemptive coordination (or production), which gives the right to any worker to impose coordination (or production). As the team grows larger, it may be more efficient to allocate to one worker the decision rights to produce or coordinate, unless time-based controls are added to the preemptive coordination and preemptive production rules to either reserve some minimal amount of quiet time or enforce coordination after some point. Finally, a fixed-interval meeting schedule works well for very large teams. Overall, our research indicates how to adapt team coordination scheduling rules to the degree of worker heterogeneity and team size.

Keywords: Collaboration and Coordination Models, Game Theory, Teams and Group Decisions, New Product Design and Development

Suggested Citation

Roels, Guillaume and Corbett, Charles J., Too Many Meetings? Scheduling Rules for Team Coordination (July 24, 2023). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2023/39/TOM, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3929502 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3929502

Guillaume Roels (Contact Author)

INSEAD - Technology and Operations Management ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77 305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Charles J. Corbett

University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson School of Business ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

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