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Workplace mediation: success in the second-oldest profession

Workplace mediation: success in the second-oldest profession

Wornham, Roger and Corby, Susan (2015) Workplace mediation: success in the second-oldest profession. [Working Paper]

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Abstract

This article focuses on workplace mediation and, in particular, how mediators conceptualise success and whether the disputing parties share their mediator’s view as to whether or not a dispute has been successfully resolved. Based on a case study of mediations by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), the article finds that success for many mediators is obtaining an agreement, written and/or verbal, that mediators mainly do not seek to find out later what actually transpired, and that disputing parties’ views are less positive than those of their mediator. The article concludes that, in place of absolute measures of success, none of which are problem free, a more nuanced criterion should be adopted: mediators should judge success relative to what they are trying to do, whether to contain/manage the dispute, or to settle the overt conflict, or to resolve the root causes. Moreover, their judgements should be made in the context of the tractability of the dispute, the parties’ commitment to mediation, the commissioner’s objectives, and evaluations by the parties and the commissioner, both immediately after the mediation, and after an elapse of time.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: mediation; workplace disputes; conflict; advisory conciliation and arbitration service; Acas; agreements; ADR; success
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Work & Employment Research Unit
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:35
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/14279

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