The following popped up on an email today at a University I work with and I
thought that the research might be of interest to this group. I am unable
to attend the session, due to prior work commitments, but will try and dig
up the source paper.

Unstructured Meeting Organisation in Open Source Communities

Professor Emma Bell, Professor of Management and Organisation Studies,
Keele University, will be presenting at the next DPO seminar on Wednesday,
7 December, at 14:00, in Meeting Rooms 3 - 4 in the Michael Young Building.


In this paper we focus on the organisation of ‘unconferences’, an umbrella
term that refers to a range of off-site meeting formats where there an
explicit attempt to break down social hierarchies and develop organic forms
of organization (Burns and Stalker, 1961).  Also referred to as ‘camps’,
unconferences have no pre-set agenda, are designed to be participant driven
(Wolf et al., 2011), and are characterised by a ‘distinct lack of
structure’ (Boule, 2011: 17).  Drawing on a qualitative study of
unconferences aimed at managers and management consultants, we assess the
extent to which unconferencing enables the hierarchical power relations
that characterise conventional off-site meeting organisation to be overcome
(Bell and King, 2010; Ford and Harding, 2008).  We find that unconferences
go some way towards addressing interactional and performative dynamics that
contribute towards unequal participation and exclusion in off-site meeting
encounters. However, our analysis also highlights the powerful behavioural
norms and group dynamics associated with off-site meetings which can result
in these attempts at openness and sharing being undermined.

Cheers, Andi Roberts

Twitter: @Andi_Roberts

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