Seminar on March 18 (online): "Too Many Meetings? Scheduling Rules for Team Coordination" by Guillaume Roels, INSEAD

Guillaume Roels

Speaker: Guillaume Roels, INSEAD

Date & Time: March 18, 2022, Friday 13:30

Title: Too Many Meetings? Scheduling Rules for Team Coordination

Abstract: Workers in knowledge-intensive industries often complain of having too many meetings, but organizations still give little thought to deciding when or how often to meet. In this paper, we investigate the efficiency and robustness of various coordination scheduling rules. We consider a situation where workers are engaged in a common activity (e.g., software programming) that can be divided into largely independent, parallel production tasks, but that necessitates periodic coordination. Coordination enables workers to address issues they have encountered in their independent work, but takes time away from production. Using a stylized game-theoretic model, we show that small teams allow a more fluid, i.e., need-based, approach to scheduling coordination, such as preemptive coordination (or production), which gives the right to any worker to impose coordination (or production). As the team grows larger, it may be more efficient to allocate to one worker the decision rights to produce or coordinate, unless time-based controls are added to the preemptive coordination and preemptive production rules to either reserve some minimal amount of quiet time or enforce coordination after some point. Finally, a fixed-interval meeting schedule works well for very large teams. Overall, our research indicates how to adapt team coordination scheduling rules to the degree of worker heterogeneity and team size. (Joint work with Charles


Bio: Guillaume Roels is the Timken Chair in Global Technology and Innovation and a Professor of Technology and Operations Management at INSEAD. He received an MS and a DEA degrees in Management from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and a PhD in Operations Research from MIT. Prior to joining INSEAD in 2017, he was an Associate Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His current research focuses on service operations and supply chain management. He has published in various academic journals, including Management Science, Operations Research, and Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. His work has received numerous research awards, and he is currently a Department Editor for Manufacturing & Service Operations Management and for Service Science.

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