Research on conflict mediation presents a scattered, piecemeal understanding of what determines mediators’ strategies and tactics and ultimately what constitutes…
Research on conflict mediation presents a scattered, piecemeal understanding of what determines mediators’ strategies and tactics and ultimately what constitutes successful mediation. This paper presents research on developing a unifying framework – the situated model of mediation – that identifies and integrates the most basic dimensions of mediation situations. These dimensions combine to determine differences in mediator’s strategies that in turn influence mediation processes and outcomes.
The approach used by this paper was twofold. First, the existing empirical literature was reviewed on factors that influence mediator’s behaviors. Based on the findings of this review, a survey study was conducted with experienced mediators to determine the most fundamental dimensions of mediation situations affecting mediators’ behaviors and mediation processes and outcomes. The data were analyzed through exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis.
The results of the study show that four of the most fundamental dimensions of mediation situations include: low vs high intensity of the conflict, cooperative vs competitive relationship between the parties, tight vs flexible context and overt vs covert processes and issues. Each of these factors was found to independently predict differences in mediators’ behaviors and perceptions of processes and outcomes. These dimensions are then combined to constitute the basic dimensions of the situated model of mediation.
The situated model of mediation is both heuristic and generative, and it shows how a minimal number of factors are sufficient to capture the complexity of conflict mediation in a wide range of contexts.
Literature on power differentials within mediation sessions has indicated that when power imbalances are too great, mediation is not the proper venue for the resolution of…
Literature on power differentials within mediation sessions has indicated that when power imbalances are too great, mediation is not the proper venue for the resolution of these disputes. However, when there is not an incapacitating imbalance, it is possible that mediators can take steps to rectify this situation. A field study was conducted at two community dispute settlement centers in New York State, with the proceedings of 73 actual cases transcribed and then coded to: (1) determine the impact of unequal power on the outcome of interpersonal mediation; (2) examine how mediators deal with unequal power; (3) assess the impact of mediator efforts to balance power discrepancies, and (4) determine the impact of disputant characteristics on differences in power and outcome. It was found that the mediators in the present study did attempt to remedy power imbalances: by encouraging the more passive disputant to participate more in the hearing by criticizing aggressive disputants, and by asking embarrassing questions of more argumentative disputants and those taking a determined principled stance. However, contrary to expectations, it was found that mediator efforts to balance power discrepancies were not successful, power discrepancies did not lead to unequal agreements, and being a female or a minority did not lead to an unfair outcome.
This research concerned preference and choice among six procedures commonly used to resolve disputes. Two experiments revealed that, compared to complainants, respondents…
This research concerned preference and choice among six procedures commonly used to resolve disputes. Two experiments revealed that, compared to complainants, respondents liked inaction and disliked arbitration. However, the most striking findings concerned general preferences among the procedures: consensual procedures (negotiation, mediation, and advisory‐arbitration) were best liked, followed by arbitration, with inaction and struggle least liked. Further analysis suggested that perceptions of self‐interest and societal norms underlie these procedural preferences, with the latter perceptions apparently more important. An examination of choices among the procedures revealed that negotiation was by far the most common first choice of action. If negotiation failed to resolve the conflict, the following escalative sequence of actions was typically endorsed: mediation, then advisory arbitration, then arbitration, and finally struggle.
This research examined the relationships among a number of outcomes of mediation. The sample consisted of 73 hearings at two dispute settlement centers in New York State…
This research examined the relationships among a number of outcomes of mediation. The sample consisted of 73 hearings at two dispute settlement centers in New York State. Predictions from goal achievement theory were contrasted with predictions from procedural justice theory. In accordance with goal achievement theory, disputants who attained their goals in the agreement indicated immediate satisfaction with that agreement and with the conduct of the hearing. However, goal achievement was unrelated to long‐run success or long‐run satisfaction with the agreement, a result which may apply primarily to the mediation of interpersonal disputes. The predictions from procedural justice theory were more successful. Disputants who perceived that the underlying problems had been aired, that the mediator had understood what they said and that they had received a fair hearing also showed immediate satisfaction with the agreement and with the conduct of the hearing. In addition, these and related perceptions—especially in the eyes of the respondent—were predictive of several aspects of long‐run success.
To speak of collective bargaining as a collaborative process seems a contradiction. Since 1935 when collective bargaining was institutional‐ized in the Wagner Act, the…
To speak of collective bargaining as a collaborative process seems a contradiction. Since 1935 when collective bargaining was institutional‐ized in the Wagner Act, the process has assumed that the disputing par‐ties are enemies, competing for scarce resources with different objec‐tives. This article explains the implementation of a new theory of col‐lective bargaining which encourages truthfulness, candor, and the acknowledgement of shared goals and avoids the negative and self‐defeating power plays of the adversarial collective bargaining process. As a result of this process, grievances in the observed company declined from 40 per year under previous contracts, to 2 in 18 months under the current contract; anger and hostility have been nearly eliminated; and there is a real spirit of cooperation present in the plant.
A variety of strategies were identified in interview‐based chronologies of ordinary interpersonal conflicts. Verbal confrontation with the adversary was the most common strategy and usually preceded other approaches. Efforts to arrange mediation and arbitration were extremely rare, though third parties were approached for other reasons in most of the cases. It was possible to distinguish complainants from respondents in 61 percent of the cases. Respondents employed more problem solving and apology than complainants, while complainants employed marginally more pressure tactics.
This observational and interview study investigated the role of caucusing (private meetings between the mediator and a disputant) in community mediation. The results from…
This observational and interview study investigated the role of caucusing (private meetings between the mediator and a disputant) in community mediation. The results from 73 cases at two mediation centers indicate that mediators are more likely to caucus when disputants have a history of escalation, are hostile toward each other during the hearing, and fail to engage in joint problem solving. Caucus sessions were found to discourage direct hostility between the disputants but to encourage indirect hostility. There was also evidence that caucus sessions foster disputant flexibility and problem solving between the disputant and the mediator. However, no relationship was found between the occurrence or nature of caucusing and the likelihood of agreement or the quality of the mediated outcome.
The theme of this keynote address is conceptual puzzles raised by empirical research on conflict management and resolution. Three types of puzzles are highlighted: those…
The theme of this keynote address is conceptual puzzles raised by empirical research on conflict management and resolution. Three types of puzzles are highlighted: those that deal with processes, identities, and situations. The process puzzles include some counter‐intuitive implications of negotiating strategies and interaction process dynamics. The identity puzzles include the ways in which identity is negotiated, perceptions of ingroups and outgroups, and the connection between loyalty to groups and collective action. The situation puzzles address attribution issues, the distinction between passive actors and active agents, and the role of history. An attempt is then made to juxtapose the puzzles toward a larger conception of a field that emphasizes change in the phenomena we analyze in research and shape through practice. A number of these ideas are found also in the research of previous IACM lifetime award recipients, with whom connections are made.
Health care service is a widely researched area. Several established models and instruments measuring health care service quality (HCSQ) are available in the published…
Health care service is a widely researched area. Several established models and instruments measuring health care service quality (HCSQ) are available in the published academic literature. The objective of this article is to summarize this vast pool of available knowledge under the themes of HCSQ, its determinants and measurement strategies.
Sixty-three available published studies in peer reviewed journal combed in EBSCO and Google Scholar database have been examined and presented in exemplary literature review.
The findings have been segregated under the themes of HCSQ, its dimensions and determinants. It can be deduced from the findings that in spite of health care being a professional service, the user defined service quality takes center stage.
Rather than the seeker of care, the authors call for further research by taking a dyadic view of professional exchanges and including providers' perspectives of care in service quality evaluations as well.