Analysing Meeting Records: An Ethnographic Study and Technological Implications

author: Steve Whittaker, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield
published: Feb. 25, 2007,   recorded: June 2005,   views: 3138


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Whilst there has been substantial research into technology to support meetings, there has been relatively little study of how meeting participants currently make records and how these records are used to direct collective and individual actions outside the meeting. This paper empirically investigates current meeting recording practices to determine how these might be better supported by technology. Our main findings were that participants create two types of meeting record. Public records are a collectively negotiated contract of decisions and commitments. Personal records, in contrast, are a highly personalised reminding tool, recording both actions and the context surrounding these actions. These observations are then used to critique current meeting support technology and to suggest new directions for research.

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