Doctoral Dissertation

27.10.2018 M.A. Tomi Laapotti (Department of Language and Communication Studies, Communication Studies)


27.10.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Seminaarinmaki , S212
M.A. Tomi Laapotti defends his doctoral dissertation in Communication Studies: "Vuorovaikutus sairaalajohtoryhmien kokouksissa".

Opponent Docent Pekka Pälli (Aalto University) and Custos Senior Lecturer Leena Mikkola (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.


Communication in hospital management group meetings

Meetings are the most common formal communication practice in organizations of any kind; as such, they are the most significant occasions for organizing. It is the process of communication that organizes and thus constitutes organizations. This study focuses on communication in management group meetings in a hospital organization. Even though meetings are an important part of information and management systems in hospitals, research focusing on management groups—or any kind of administrative meetings in hospital organizations—has been scarce.

The aim of this doctoral dissertation is to describe the interaction structures in hospital management group meetings and to understand the meaning of these meetings for management group members and for the hospital organization. This aim is achieved by analyzing interactions during management meetings and by interviewing participants.

The dataset consists of video recordings of ten management group meetings and of interviews with seven management group members. This naturalistic and qualitative study is comprised of four empirical research articles. The theoretical framework draws from structuration theory, bona fide group perspective, and the communicative constitution of organizations (CCO) perspective.

The findings show that these meetings are focused on information sharing, and that meeting interaction is not only focused on the chair but is dyadic—that is, conducted between the chair and one participant at a time. Thus, organizational structures appear to limit discussions during meetings.

For the participants, meetings are about making sense of the hospital organization, positioning themselves as part of the hospital, and building a sense of belonging. For the hospital, meetings are legitimized arenas for sharing important information from the viewpoint of the hospital administration.

These meetings carry nonhuman agency because they make the participants act in certain ways and because they make a significant difference in relation to many key organizational processes. These findings emphasize the importance of research focusing on naturalistic data.

Keywords: communication, communicative constitution of organization, hospital, meetings, organizational communication, small group communication, working life, workplace communication