Lauded for its accessible format and humorous writing style, Effective Meetings: Improving Group Decision Making, offers practical strategies for running effective meetings by highlighting the processes involved in decision making and the ways individuals contribute to making better quality decisions as a group.

The Third Edition of this brief text begins with guidelines for effective decision making, then covers topics that include member recruitment, meeting preparation, agenda building, and the positions and roles required for effective meeting outcomes. Subsequent chapters deal with electronic meeting formats, the chair and participants, and the various types of meeting groups such as boards, advisory groups, and staff groups.

Author John E. Tropman teaches at the University of Michigan in the School of Social Work, the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and the Executive Education Programs. Dr. Tropman also works with for-profit, nonprofit, and government entities in a consultative capacity.

Different Kinds of Decision Groups
Different kinds of decision groups

In this part of the book, we focus on different kinds of groups, ones that are typical in both the nonprofit arena and beyond. Already, some focus on this element has been introduced—the executive position, for example, was discussed mainly with respect to the board.

These are the most common decision-group archetypes:

  • Task forces
  • Ad hoc and standing decision groups
  • Commissions
  • Community groups
  • Informal groups
  • Boards
  • Advisory groups
  • Staff groups

We touch on the first five types of decision groups below and discuss the last three—boards, advisory groups, and staff groups—at length in Chapters 11, 12, and 13, respectively.

There are, of course, many kinds of decision groups. These archetypes are among the most common and are often full of difficulties and misunderstandings.

Each type of group ...

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