Optimal meetings: Realising the environmental and economic promise of virtual business meetings. A case study of Telia Research AB

Beatrice Kogg

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch


In Sweden, 13 % of all transport is related to business travelling, resulting in significant emissions of not only CO2, but also of NOx, VOC, CO and particle matter. The implication for business will not only come in the form of ecological impacts affecting the natural resource base; as people around the world wake up to the fact that issues, like climate change, are a real threat to their welfare, they are starting to ask questions and make demands in their capacity as voters, consumers and investors.
Virtual meetings are frequently promoted by arguments of cost savings, with the additional bonus of improved environmental performance. It has been shown that the potential for environmental, and financial, improvements through the increased substitution of physical meetings by virtual meetings is considerable. However, it has also been shown that this potential is not automatically realised by investing in the technology that enable virtual meetings. In this thesis a case study of Telia Research AB was performed to explore how the environmental, and financial, promise of virtual meetings can be realised.
The thesis is divided into two sections. The first part explores the factors that influence meeting behaviour within an organization. While situational factors such as time, place, the character of the message to be communicated and the purpose of the meeting, clearly influence the choice of meeting form, these factors are characterised by being difficult and sometimes inappropriate to manipulate with the intention to stimulate the use of virtual meetings. The findings of this study do however, show that a range of 'contextual factors' - non-situational factors that form the context in which the meeting participants make the choice of how to meet - also influence meeting behaviour.
The second part of the thesis explores the managerial implications of the findings from section one.
The findings indicate that meeting behaviour can be changed through the direct modification or indirect manipulation of contextual factors, removing barriers and reinforcing or introducing drivers for virtual meetings. This can be achieved by including representatives responsible for the design of the different contextual factors within the organization, in the development and implementation of a strategy for increased substitution of physical meetings with virtual meetings - a strategy for 'Optimal meetings'. The study illustrates an interesting approach for environmental management pertaining to environmental objectives that are highly affected by the individual behaviour of organizational members.
Original languageEnglish
Publisher[Publisher information missing]
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1650-1675

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Free keywords

  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Virtual meeting


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