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Men and women as mediators: disputant perceptions

Alice F. Stuhlmacher (DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Melissa G. Morrissett (DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of the paper is to provide a quantitative analysis of existing research comparing perceptions about male and female mediators to understand better the extent a mediator's gender is related to the disputing individuals' view of the mediation.


Several databases were searched extensively (1967‐2007) for relevant research studies and articles reporting disputant perceptions and mediator gender. Unpublished research was solicited from dissertations, the internet, as well as directly from authors. Articles were screened; those meeting predetermined criteria were included in the meta‐analysis.


Existing studies indicated that male mediators were perceived more favorably than their female counterparts were.

Research limitations/implications

Despite a very extensive search of existing studies, only five contained the information necessary for this meta‐analytic review.

Practical implications

The results suggest that additional barriers and challenges exist for women, compared to men, in the world of mediation. Considering both the significant results and the lack of existing research on the topic, further research is clearly needed for more definitive advice regarding the training and practice of mediation.


Current textbooks and research on mediation have extremely limited or no information on the role of the gender of the mediators. While gender differences have been researched in regards to negotiation and negotiators, this paper systematically considers perceptions about male and female mediators.



Stuhlmacher, A.F. and Morrissett, M.G. (2008), "Men and women as mediators: disputant perceptions", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 249-261.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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