Would you please stop that!? The relationship between counterproductive meeting behaviors, employee voice, and trust

Joseph A. Allen, Michael A. Yoerger, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Johanna Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose – Meetings are ubiquitous in organizational life and are a great source of frustration and annoyance to many employees in the workplace, in part due to counterproductive meeting behaviors (CMBs). CMBs include engaging in irrelevant discussion, complaining about other attendees, arriving to the meeting late, and other similar, disruptive behaviors. Consistent with conservation of resources theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine the potential resource draining effect of CMBs on two key workplace attitudes/behaviors, employee voice, and coworker trust. Design/methodology/approach – The authors used Amazon’s MTurk service to recruit a sample of full-time working adults from a variety of industries who regularly attend meetings. Participants completed a survey with items relating to CMBs, trust, voice, and meeting load. Findings – The authors found that CMBs were indeed negatively related to both employee voice and coworker trust. Further, both of these relationships were even more negative for those who had fewer meetings (i.e. meeting load as a moderator). Research limitations/implications – The results of this study suggest that behavior in meetings may spill over and impact employees in other areas of their work life, perhaps harming other important work-related outcomes (e.g. performance). The cross-sectional nature of the sampling strategy is a limitation that provides opportunities for future research as discussed. Practical implications – The practical implications are rather straightforward and poignant. Managers and meetings leaders should seek ways to reduce CMBs and promote good meeting processes generally. Originality/value – The current study is the first to overtly investigate CMBs in workplace meetings and connect them to meaningful, non-meeting-related, outcomes. Further, the study shows the usefulness of conservation resources theory for explaining the dynamic processes that occur for meeting attendees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1272-1287
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 12 2015


  • Counterproductive meeting behaviors
  • Meeting load
  • Trust
  • Voice
  • Workplace meetings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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