This was a pilot study on the decision making environments in the meeting planning industry. A critical incident questionnaire which was developed by Boone & Kilmann (1988) and later used by Janet Barnard (1992) in her research "Decision Environments of Small Firms" was adapted. The questionnaires were mailed to 210 samples which were randomly chosen from members of Meeting Planners International in four states, and there were 30 valid responses received. Among those 30 respondents, the majority (70%) are female meeting planners. Most of the participants are over 30 years old, and their years of experience in the meeting planning area mostly spread in 4-15 years, while 50% of the participants have been working for 4-8 years in current organizations. In the first part of the questionnaire, each respondent was asked to consider and briefly describe a work related decision in which he/she was recently involved. There were 15 participants (50%) answered this question and site selection was the most common answer. Part II of the questionnaire was a set of 32 items randomly arranged and could be divided into 6 factors. As the result of the general responses, the ranking of the six factors was: 1 . factor 1 -Inputs, 2. factor 2-Problems, 3. factor 4- Teamwork, 4. factor 6-Resources, 5. factor 3-Rewards, and 6. factor 5-Politics. The answers of the 32 items were also grouped according to respondents' positions, geographic locations, and organization styles. Two-sample t-tests of a 0.95 confidence interval were used to identify if there was any significance. In the t-tests, four significant differences were found. The first one was between the respondents who work for corporations and the respondents who work for independent meeting planning companies regarding factor 5-Bureaucratic Block & Politics. The second significance was also concerning factor 5 and was found between respondents who work as CEOs and respondents who work as meeting planners. The third one was concerning factor 6-Resource Adequacy and was found between respondents who work as meeting planners and respondents who work as administrators. The last one was about factor 5 and was found between respondents who work for independent meeting planning companies and the 30 general respondents. Part III of the questionnaire was concerning the top five probable problem areas, and 'finance' was the most concerned problem area. However, respondents from different organizations show differences, for example, respondents from independent meeting planning companies showed special concern on liability while others did not. A comparison about the ranking of the six factors between this study and Barnard's study on small firms showed that the meeting industry regards "Inputs" as the most important factor and "Politics" as the least important one, while in Barnard's study "Politics" is the most important one and "Inputs" is the least important one. This study proves that the meeting planning industry has its own concern about decision environments. Even within the industry, the organization styles and the positions would affect the perspectives. It is recommended to adapt the instrument and conduct further researches for a better understanding and also to help to improve the industry's decision environment.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Meetings--Planning|xDecision-making; Decision-making

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Food, Hotel and Tourism Management (CAST)


Stockham, E.

Advisor/Committee Member

Steffens, Edward


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: HF5734.5.L59 1993


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