process control, dispute resolution, Elangovan, research, resolution, third party, mediation, aspirations, Carnevale, decision control, arbitration, dispute resolution system, disputants, the mediator, intervention, Thibaut, common ground, time constraints, acceptable solution, compensation strategy, reservation values, Carnevale, Lim, Lim & Carnevale, Future research, party intervention, informal dispute resolution, Lewicki& Sheppard, Control Strategy, Lewicki & Sheppard, intervention strategies, Walker, organizations, Future Research Needs, qualitative research, mediation process, transformative mediation, dispute resolution systems
The Role of Third Parties/ Mediation in Managing Conflict in Organizations BARRY M. GOLDMAN, RUSSELL CROPANZANO, JORDAN STEIN, AND LEHMAN BENSON I11 Eller College of Management, University of Arizona
Third party intervention
has had a rich and important role in the management of conflict. One can think back to the story of King Solomon's wise decision when two women from his Kingdom came to him, each arguing that a baby was hers. Solomon threatened to cut the baby in half, realizing that the real mother would rather the baby live-even if given to the wrong woman-than let the baby die. Solomon's story, even if apocryphal, points to an established human tradition going back for millennia of third party conflict resolution. We hope that scholarsand researchers have learned a few things in these intervening years since King Solomon's story was written. The purpose of this chapter is to investigate and integrate our current understanding of this issue as it applies to organizations. The scope of the literature reviewed for this chapter broadly considers third party intervention in conflict situations involving organizations. However, reflecting the emphases of modern researchers and practitioners, it focuses most attention on issues related to mediation (rather than other third-party techniques, e.g., arbitration). Moreover, as noted, our focus is limited to issues relating to conflicts within organizations and, for the most part, does not examine other uses of third parties to resolve conflicts in extraorganizational situations (e.g., the legal system). Broadly speaking, this chapter will cover the role of third parties in the conflict management process. Specifically, the chapter starts with a
GOLDMAN, CROPAN Z A N O , STEIN, A N D BENSON
discussion of informal conflict resolution in organizations. Mostly, this work examines the role of managers as dispute solvers. Next, we turn our attention to discussion of the behavior and strategies as they often affect individual mediators. Then, we discuss aspects of both formal and informal dispute resolution
as they may affect workplace dispute resolution, Finally, we conclude with a brief discussion of organizational approaches to formal disputing, emphasizing the case of mediation. Moreover, we discuss Future Directions
for research as appropriate within each section.
INFORMAL CONFI-ICT RESOLUI'ION Some decades ago, Thomas and Schmidt (1976) found that managers devoted up to a fifth of their time resolving conflicts. Despite this early recognition of its importance (Wall & Callister, 1995),research on managers acting as third parties has been surprisingly limited. Indeed, putatively comprehensive taxonomies of leadership competencies sometimes fail to include conflict management skills as an explicit category (e.g.,Tett, Guterman, Bleier, & Murphy, 2000). Fortunately, some research exists that both describes how managers perform these duties and makes recommendations for honing their abilities to resolve disputes. We consider this evidence in the following section.
The Social Psychological Tradition In the 1970s, Thibaut and Walker (1975,1978) conducted an influential series of studies examining dispute resolution. Their early research was largely concerned with legal settings. In fact, Walker was an attorney. Similar to a courtroom trial, they divided a resolution episode into two parts-a process stage and a decision stage. During the process stage, evidence and arguments were presented. During the decision stage, a judgment was rendered. In addition, they pictured a disagreement as having two disputants (with or without representatives) along with a third party. Either the two disputants or the third party could exert control. This control could be manifest at the process stage, the decision stage, or both. Pulling these ideas together, Thibaut and Walker were able to list five strategies for third-party intervention: 1. Bargaining: Disputants possess both process and decision control. 2. Mediation: The third party possesses process control; disputants pos- sess decision control. 3. Arbitration: Disputants possess process control; the third party pos- sesses decision control. (Note that Thibaut and Walker's "arbitration" does not necessarily refer to formal labor arbitration.)
10. THE ROLE OF THlRD PARTIES/MEDIATION IN MANAGING CONFLICT
4. Autocratic: The third party possesses both process and decision control. 5. Moot: Both process control and decision control are shared by the third party and the disputants.
Thibaut and Walker's (1975,1978)insight was that decision control was not necessary to create satisfaction among conflicting parties. Indeed, disputants were able to accept their inabilities to render their own decisions, so long as they maintained control over the process (for empirical examples, see Houlden, LaTour, Walker, & Thibaut, 1978; Walker, LaTour, Lind, & Thibaut, 1974). There is a wealth of evidence from the experimental research
tradition inspired by Thibaut and Walker (1975,1978).For example, a considerable body of research has explored courtroom proceedings (e.g., Folger, Cropanzano, Timmermann, Howes, & Mitchell, 1996; Lind, Kurtz, Musante, Walker, & Thibaut, 1980; Sheppard, 1985).Other work has tended to examine disputant responses within legal settings, such as interactions with police officer
s (Tyler & Folger, 1980),mediation (Lind et al., 1990),and plea bargaining (Casper,Tyler, & Fisher, 1988; Houlden, 1981). Thibaut and Walker (1975,1978) influenced the organizational sciences as well. For example, their model was applied to employee participation (Rasinski,1992;Roberson, Moye, & Locke, 1999).In addition, later research expanded Thibaut and Walker's model so that it was more applicable to business environments. We will now turn our attention to this work.
Managerial Conflict Resolution Sheppard's (1984) Taxonomy. In an attempt to be build a more comprehensive typology, Sheppard (1983,1984) expanded Thibaut and Walker's (1975,1978)list of conflict intervention phases from two to four: definition, discussion (much like the process stage), alternative selection (much like the decision stage), and reconciliation. Each of these four stages contains an additional two to five substages. Sheppard also added a more comprehensive list of controls that a third party might exercise. The four basic types of control are (a) process control, (b) content control, (c) control by request, and (d) motivational control (e.g., control over incentives). Additionally, numerous subtypes of control also exist. The key advantage of Sheppard's (1983, 1984) model was found in its thoroughness. By expanding on the initial work of Thibaut and Walker (1975, 1978), Sheppard demonstrated that social psychological ideas of third-party intervention could be applied outside of legal settings. Moreover, Sheppard specifically articulated the differentways in which such an intervention could occur. This precision, of course, comes with a cost. The full matrix of types of controls to stages of conflict comes to 403 cells. For giving practical advice or for conducting research, this is rather unwieldy.
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Therefore, empirical tests, while strongly influenced by Sheppard's work, employed simplified versions of his taxonomy. An Abbreviated Taxonomy. In exploring the informal tactics used by managerial third parties, researchers have distilled Sheppard's (1984) taxonomy (cf. Sheppard, 1983) into a few commonly used methods (for reviews, see Cropanzano, Aguinis, Schminke, & Denham, 1999; Folger & Cropanzano, 1998, chapter 6; Kolb, 1986; Kolb & Glidden, 1986; Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985).In general, six approaches seem to predominate, though researchers have given them different names:
Advising or facilitation: The manager allows the disputants to maintain decision control.Acting as a third-party facilitator, the manager shares process control to the extent it is necessary to keep the conflicting parties talking constructively about their differences. Mediation: The third party retains process control but does not exercise decision control. Adversarial or arbitration: The manager allows the disputants to control the process but retains control over the final decision. Autocratic or inquisitorial: The manager exerts a good deal of control over both the process and the decision. Providing impetus or motivational control:The manager does not control the process or the outcome. However, the third party does provide incentives-sometimes even threats-in order to get the disputants to settle the matter themselves. Avoidance or ignoring: The manager does nothing. Advising or facilitation. When acting as an advisor (Kolb, 1986; Kolb & Glidden, 1986)or a facilitator (Kozan & Ilter, 1994),the manager takes the two parties aside and encourages them to engage in productive discussion. As a third party, the manager is not especially controlling. Rather, he or she exerts only limited influence on the process in order to reach an effective conclusion. Individuals report a preference for advising, as opposed to more autocratic methods. This seems to be true for both students and practicing managers (Karambayya,Brett, & Lytle, 1992).Crosscultural surveys lead to similar conclusions. For example, Cropanzano et al. (1999) found that advising was the top-ranked conflict resolution procedure among samples from Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the United States.Kozan and Ilter (1994)found similar results among Turkish workers. Additionally, in a survey of undergraduates from Spain and Japan, Leung, Au, FernAndez-Dols, and Iwawaki (1992) found that participants were happiest with interventions that allowed them to participate actively. However, Leung et al. were not exploring third-party conflict management per se. While these results bode well for advising, we should be mindful of its limitations. As we have seen, research inspired by Thibaut and
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Walker's (1975, 1978) work suggested that disputants willingly give up process control under certain conditions. For example, individuals are more willing to surrender process control when there is a need for speedy resolution (LaTour, Houlden, Walker, & Thibaut, 1976),when the conflict is a serious one (Bigoness, 1976;Johnson & Pruitt, 1972),and when there is a need for face saving (LaTour et al., 1976).On the other hand, LaTour et al. found that, when disputants have an established pattern of cooperation, they seem more eager to take on process control. Indeed, under certain conditions, the two conflicting parties may even forgo decision control to a third party, so long as they believe that this loss of decision control will facilitate successful resolution of their disagreement (Rubin, 1980).
Mediation. When a manager mediates, he or she retainsprocess control but allows the two conflicting parties to select their own resolution. Mediation is quite similar to advising, in that the disputants retain decision control. Indeed, the two are sometimescategorized together (e.g., Cropanzano et al., 1999; Folger & Cropanzano, 1998), but there is a meaningful difference in degree. Mediation implies that the third party retains relatively more control over the process; advising or facilitation implies that he or she retains relatively less. As is true for advising, people tend to prefer mediation to methods that vest control of the outcome in a third party (Karambayya & Brett, 1989), and this is especially so when time is available and the conflicting parties must continue to work together (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985). A general preference for mediation, as opposed to more autocratic strategies, has been observed in both Canada and the Netherlands (Leung, Bond, Carmet, Krishnan, & Liebrand, 1990; for a correction, see Leung, Bond, Carment, Krishnan, & Liebrand, 1991),as well as for Hong Kong
and the United States (Leung, 1987; Leung & Lind, 1986).However, as in the case with advising, mediation may not be the most appropriate form of thirdparty tactic when time is limited, the matter is complex, or the need for strong authority is otherwise perceived to be needed (e.g., certain crosscultural situations; see the following section).
Adversarial or arbitration. When employing the adversarial method, the manager listens carefully as each party presents his or her case without interference. Subsequently, the third party issues an opinion. The tactic has been called "adversarial" by Lewicki and Sheppard (1985), "arbitration" by Kolb and Glidden (1986)and Shapiro and Rosen (1994),and "adjudication" by Karambayya and Brett (1989). Individuals prefer to retain decision control, unless there are no alternatives for reaching a settlement (Rubin, 1980). Nevertheless, the adversarial approach is generally preferred to more autocratic methods (Folger et al., 1996),and this is true in Canada and the Netherlands (Leung et al., 1990),as well as in the United States. Having said that, there do seem to be some cross-cultural differences regarding preferences for this tactic. The adversarial style comes
GOLDMAN, CROPANZANO,STEIN, AND BENSON
with a built-in confrontation. In East Asian cultures, which prefer social harmony, such a technique may be liked relatively less well than it is in North America
. Leung and Lind (1986) and Leung (1987)found support for this idea in studies comparing the United States and Hong Kong. Benjamin (1975)came to similar conclusions regarding Japan.
Autocratic or inquisitorial. When taking an inquisitorial approach, the third party controls both the process and the outcome. Managers employ autocratic methods quite commonly (e.g., Bergmann & Volkema, 1994; Shapiro & Rosen, 1994; Sheppard, 1983), though the use of hierarchy is typically disliked by disputants. In business settings, various studies have found that participants prefer to retain some control over the process and, especially, over the outcome (e.g., Cropanzano et al., 1999; Karambayya & Brett, 1989; Karambayya et al., 1992; Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985). This seems to be the case in legal settings as well (Folger et al., 1996; Thibaut & Walker, 1975). Similar results have also been obtained in Hong Kong (Leung& Lind, 1986)and Turkey (Kozan & Ilter, 1994).
providing impetus. Analogous to a "kick in the pants" (Shapiro& Rosen, 1994),providing impetus involves low third-party process control and low third-party outcome control (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985).However, it also involves the provision of motivational incentives to reach a settlement (Kolb & Glidden, 1986).The third party does not fix the problem, but he or she creates an atmosphere wherein it is in the disputants' best interests to achieve a settlement. In one study, Lewicki and Sheppard (1985)found that providing impetus was liked less well than mediation. Likewise, Cropanzano et al. (1999)found that, except for avoidance (discussedin the following section), providing impetus was the most unpopular tactic in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the United States.
Avoidance. Avoidance,sometimesreferred to simplyas "ignoring" (Leung et al., 1992), is doing nothing at all (Kolb & Glidden, 1986).People in the United States (Shapiro& Rosen, 1994)and Hong Kong (Leung, 1988)use it frequently. There is not a great deal of research on avoidance, but it tends not be evaluated favorably. This is also so in Spain, Japan (Leung et al., 1992),Canada, and the Netherlands (Leunget al., 1990,1991).Cropanzano et al. (1999) found that avoidance was the least preferred conflict resolution option in four nations: Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the United States.
Elangovan's Prescriptive Model In an attempt to organize and expand previous work, Elangovan (1995, 1998)provided managers with a set of working guidelines, assisting them in choosing the most important tactic in different situations. Elangovan
10. THE ROLE OF THIRD PARTlES/MEDlATlON IN MANAGlNG CONFLlCT
recognized that supervisors require at least two pieces of informationtheir dispute resolution options and a set of rules for diagnosing the situation. When individuals are aware of their potential styles and have a proper understanding of critical contextual features, then they need only employ the appropriate conflict resolution procedure within the approach setting. This line of thinking is summarized in the following three figures. Figure 10.1 displays the five dispute resolution styles, Figure 10.2 shows the six diagnostic rules, and Figure 10.3displays how applying the rules leads one to choose (hopefully) the optimal style. These latter two figures follow closely from Elangovan's original presentation.
Knowing Your Options. Elangovan's (1995, 1998) five intervention strategies are based on the amount of control exercised by the third party (for a similar model, see Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985).Consistent with the work of Thibaut and Walker (1975, 1978), Elangovan considered two stagesprocess and outcome. A manager might affect control in either or both. Hence, the tactics are similar, but Elangovan provided a distinct nomenclature. These are shown in Figure 10.1:
Low-control strategy (LCS): Third party has neither process nor deci- sion control. This is similar to Thibaut and Walker's bargaining procedure. Means-control strategy (MCS): Third party has process control but not decision control. This corresponds to mediation (Lewicki& Sheppard, 1985),as the term was used earlier. Ends-control strategy (ECS): Third party has decision control but lacks process control. This corresponds to the adversarial or arbitration tactic that we previously discussed (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985).
Third-Party Decision Control
ThirdParty Process Control
Ends-Control Strategy (ECS)
I Strategy (PCS)
Full Control Strategy (FCS)
FIGURE 10.1. Thibaut and Walker's (1975, 1978) five dispute intervention strategies.
GOLDMAN, CROPANZANO, STEIN, AND BENSON
Name of Rule
1 1.Dispute-Importance Rule (DI) 1 2. Time-Pressure Rule (TP)
How important is the dispute to the effectve functioning of the organization? How important is it to resolve the dispute quickly?
3. Nature of Dispute Rule (ND) 4. Nature of Relations Rule (NR)
Does the dispute concern the interpretation of existing rules and arrangements or the changing of existing rules and arrangement? What is the expected frequency of future workrelated interactions between the disputants?
5. Commitment-Probability Rule (CP) 11 6. Disputant-Orientation (DO)
If you were to impose a settlement, what is the
probability that the disputants would be
I committed to it?
If you were t o let the disputants settle their differences, what is the probability that they
would come to an qrganizationall.y compatible
FIGURE 10.2. Rules of diagnosing a situation (Elangovan, 1995, pp. 817-819).
- ECS -MCS FIGURE 10.3. Managerial third-party conflict intervention (Adapted from Elangovan, 1995).
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Full-control strategy (FCS):Third party has both process control and decision control. This is what we earlier referred to as the "autocratic" or "inquisitorial" approach (Kolb, 1986; Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985). Part-control strategy (PCS):Third party shares both process and decision control. This is comparable to Thibaut and Walker's (1975,1978) moot procedure. It is very roughly comparable with advising (Kolb, 1986;Kolb & Glidden, 1986),but there is an important difference. In advising, the third party shares process control, but he or she may allow the disputant to retain decision control.
It should be noted that these five strategies are "ideal types." Actual managerial interventions could well vary on a continuum that ranges from no control whatsoever to almost complete control. Many actual resolution attempts will fall somewhere between these extremes. Nevertheless, Elangovan's (1995)five approaches provided a beginning framework. We will now turn our attention to his rules for diagnosing situations.
Assessing the Situation. As shown in Figure 10.2, Elangovan (1995) presented six rules; their applications can help one understand the relevant situational context. We have also quoted (or in some cases paraphrased) the corresponding list of diagnostic questions. Notice that the first three rules pertain directly to the dispute, while the latter three emphasize the conflicting parties. When speaking of dispute "importance," Elangovan (1995) referred to importance for the organization's mission or effectiveness. When a dispute is important for a firm's basic operation, then the manager should take more decision control (e.g., move toward the left column of Fig. 10.1) to ensure quality. Seizing decision control could potentially compromise fairness. However, as Thibaut and Walker (1975,1978) demonstrated, disputants tend to accept low outcome control so long as they maintain process control. Thus, for important decisions supervisory third parties should err toward allowing the disputing parties process control. When time pressure is high, a decision needs to be made quickly. Since managerial hegemony is more efficient, at least in the short run, the third party will likely wish to sacrificeprocess control.If necessary, the supervisor may also need to control the decision as well (Elangovan, 1995,1998). Not all disputes are the same, and different problems call for different solutions. Elangovan (1995) suggested that disputes be divided into two types. Disputes over privileges POP) involve construals of existing rules or policies. There is some standard or agreement in place, but individuals interpret it differently. Hence, the challenge lies in finding a shared understanding that all parties can accept. Disputes over stakes (DOS) are about changes involving the setting of rules, plans, and other policies. These disagreements are less "cognitive" than DOP conflicts because the DOS disputes often involve one's values and goals. Since DOP disputes
GOLDMAN, CROPANZANO, STEIN, A N D BENSON
are over interpretations,the manager should retain outcome control. DOS disputes, on the other hand, can be more complex. The third party will probably not wish to forgo process control, but he or she will need to yield ends or outcome control to the conflicting parties. The nature of the relationship between the disputants has long-term implications. If the participants are expected to work together into the future, then the third party should leave them with decision control but should retain process control. For example, mediation might be effective. Managerial control over the outcome is more viable when a long-term interaction is not anticipated. Long-term commitment to a settlement is important. In some settings, the disputants may be committed to a unilateral decision, in other settings this will not be so. When commitment probability is low, managers should give up at least some outcome control (e.g., move toward the left column of Fig. 10.1).When commitment probability is high, then managers have more leeway in deciding whether to dominate the decision. A final question has to do with the likelihood that conflicting parties reach an effective settlement. Elangovan (1995) termed this probability the "disputant orientation." A high disputant orientation means that the two parties have the ability and motivation to achieve an agreement on their own. A low disputant orientation indicates that this is less likely. The higher the disputant orientation (the more likely disputants are to resolve their own problems), the less control the third party should retain over the decision. Applying the Model. The final step in applying Elangovan's (1995)model was displayed in Figure 10.3, which is adapted from Elangovan's original figure (p. 819). Managers can ask themselves the six questions listed in Figure 10.2, maintaining the order among them. Each response moves the individual forward along the flow chart. The terminus provides what Elangovan believed to be the optimal strategy. Available evidence was limited but generally supportive of the model. Elangovan (1998) surveyed 92supervisorsin a variety of organizations.Theseparticipantswere asked to recall successful and unsuccessful attempts at dispute resolution. Their attempts at third-party intervention were more successful to the extent that they followed Elangovan's perspective advice and less successful to the extent that they did not.
Future Research Needs and Critical Omissions Our review of informal conflict resolution suggests considerable promise but also serious limitations in our current body of knowledge
. Scholars have provided taxonomies of conflict management behavior (e.g., Sheppard, 1984; Elangovan, 1995). While this research was promising, there have still been relatively few rigorous empirical tests of actual mediation
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systems in organizations. It would be useful to have additional descriptive research. Such a program of study could describe what tactics are used and under what circumstances. It would also be useful to know more about workers' responses. Likewise, much of the evidence to date has been collected in laboratory studies. Most of this research has been of real benefit in our understanding of mediation in organizations, but the results would benefit from more organizational field studies if for no other reason than to limit questions relating to external validity of the existing studies. Elangovan's (1995, 1998) model provided a useful point of departure for future research. As noted, that model contains three parts (Figure10.1, Figure 10.2,and Figure 10.3),each one of which may be empirically tested. It offers advantages over a number of other models in that it is both comprehensive and prescriptive. If research were able to verify the model substantially, it might be of real benefit to practitioners. Now that we have spent some time discussing informal methods of conflict resolution,we would like to turn our attention to the specific tactical actions and strategic thoughts that guide actual mediator behavior.
MEDIATOR BEHAVIOR AND STRATEGY Every mediator is an individual. As such, each employs varying tactics and strategies during the mediation process. However, the models of mediator behavior put forth in the dispute resolution literature to explain mediation share many similarities because most mediators espouse the commongoal of a harmonious relationshipbetween disputing parties. We discuss the major models of mediator behavior in the following section.
Models of Mediation Descriptive Models. One of the most frequently referenced descriptive models of mediator behavior is Kolb's (1983) model of third party action and cognition. Kolb outlined two models of action that a mediator could utilize during the mediation process: (a) deal making and (b) orchestration. While deal making is characterized by a forcefully and domineering third party that almost compels parties to reach settlement using his or her influence, a mediator espousing the ideals of the orchestration technique can be characterized as more of a "fly on the wall" that develops a dialogue between the parties but does not intervene unless absolutely necessary. The orchestrator may pose questions to the parties but tends not to push them toward any specific resolution (Lewicki,Weiss, & Lewin, 1992). Normative Models. As with descriptive models, normative models were conceived through the examination of labor disputes. However, they can
GOLDMAN, CROPANZANO, STEIN, A N D BENSON
be used to solve disputes outside of a unionized environment. In 1952, Jacksondelineated his five-part mediator technique consisting of (a)gathering the parties together, (b) gaining confidence in the mediator, (c) establishing the true weighted importance of various issues, (d) questioning disputing parties' assumptions,and (e)determining and expanding upon areas of agreement and formulating alternative solutions. Additionally, Jackson emphasized the importance of quelling angry tempers by utilizing cooling off periods. Stevens (1963) fashioned a slightly more formal model describing stages in terms of the "contract zone" instead of focusing on the disputing parties. More specifically, this involves bargaining that is driven by the manipulation of the perceived costs. Many years later, Folberg and Taylor (1984) used concepts from the aforementioned models to develop a seven-part "megaprocess" model of mediation that was similar to Jackson's (1952) and Stevens' (1963) models with the addition of (a) a legal review process and (b) an implementation, review, and revision stage. Almost concurrently, Moore (1986)put forth a twelve-stage model that provided even greater detail as to the strategies and actions that mediators should undertake to resolve disputes. Moore suggested that a mediator should consider what strategy he or she should employ, as well as, the appropriate mediation stage design prior to engaging in action at each of the twelve stages. What is clear from this assorted mix of models is that there is not a unanimously accepted or commanding definition of mediation or mediator behavior (Lewicki et al., 1992). While each camp of researchers' valiantly attempted to enhance and fine tune the models of dispute resolution that came before it, scholars could not agree on the appropriate number of stages in the process, the specific actions the mediator should take at each of those stages, or how social context should influence a mediator's strategy and tactics (Kolb, 1986; Rubin, 1981,1986; Sheppard, Saunders, & Minton, 1987).Future scholarly inquiry should continue to push forward and address this daunting task. Nevertheless, each of these aforementioned models shares similarities. Most importantly, all models embrace the ultimate goal of settlement. While arbitration shares this goal, mediation differs in that the disputing parties have decision control in the endeavor.Bush and Folger (1994)questioned these underlying assumptions that were present in all of the prior models. The authors doubted the two basic assumptions that (a) problem solving and settlement should be the ultimate goals and (b) the mediators should have process control. Instead, they advocated a mediator strategy that incorporated empowerment and recognition. They termed their strat- egy transformative mediation.
Transformative Mediation. Transformative mediation seeks to create a better socialized community by teaching disputing parties how to take the perspective of the other group and act in a way that acknowledges this perspective. In short, transformative mediation assumes that apology
10. THE ROLE OF THIRD PARTIES/MEDIATION IN MANAGING CONFLICT
is a powerful method of moving disputing parties toward settlement
(Levi, 1997). While transformative mediation has an intuitive appeal, it
has received scholarly criticism. Specifically, Seul (1999) took issue with
the idea that the mediator should take on the role of moral developer with-
out any consideration given to the parties' current stage of moral develop-
ment. In a slightly different vein, Levi (1997) noted that, in the presence
of a "bona fide" dispute, a simple "I'm sorry" may not rectify the emo-
tional harm inflicted or moral mandate that was infringed upon (Kohl-
berg, 1981).Moreover, apologiesmay not alwaysbe sincere and disputants
can use public recantations as "attitude structuring tactics" in hopes of
leveraging their positions against the opponent (Pruitt, 1981). Likewise,
Gaynier (2005) contended that Bush and Folgers's (1994) myopic depen-
dence on empowerment and recognition lacked any sort of realization
that resistance, conflicting interests, and mediator self-awareness all play
roles in the dispute resolution process. Finally, Kressel(2000)argued that
transformative mediation is not actually a novel idea at all. He noted that
the "hallmarks" of this type of mediation could be seen in mediators that
espousea problem-solving styleof mediation. Specifically,mediators using
a problem-solving style, as in the case of divorce mediation, can be charac-
terized as nonjudgmental about the disputants' decisions, impartial, and
encouraging open and honest communication. However, comparative
studies examining clearly defined models have not yet been carried out.
Future research in this area would no doubt be fruitful.
To summarize, it is still unclear whether transformative mediation
can produce its intended effects. Additionally, we know that mediation
is not always the chosen dispute resolution tactic by both parties. Indeed,
mandatory mediation is common and has its own set of implications sur-
rounding the ability to change parties' attitudes and reach settlement.
Mediator Strategy Given the numerous stages during mediation and the distinct and diversified subtypes of mediation, it is essential that mediators put thought into their strategies prior to sitting down with both parties. Carnevale (1986) laid out four possible strategies that could be selected by a mediator: (a) integration, which involves finding solutions based on common ground; (b) pressing, which involves encouraging parties to be less obdurate; (c) compensation, which involves giving something back to the party making concessions; and (d) inaction, which involves a laissez-faire approach to the problem (see Figure 10.4).Additionally Carnevale (1986) outlined a model of mediator strategic choice based on five core assumptions: (a) Mediators desire an agreement between disputants; (b) mediators are able to use any of the four strategies; (c)mediators are willing and driven to take action; (d) only one strategy can be utilized at a single point in time; and (e)mediators choose a strategy based on two variables-how
GOLDMAN,CROPANZANO,STEIN, A N D BENSON
Mediator's Value of Parties' Aspirations
Mediator's High Perception of Common Ground Low
FIGLIRE 10.4. Strategic choice model of mediator behavior adapted from Carnevale (1986).
much the mediator cares about the disputants resolving their dilemma and the mediator's recognition of a common ground. According to Carnevale's (1986) model, integration was the most desirable method due to its ability to accommodate both parties. However, in order to utilize this strategy effectively, the mediator must perceive an ample amount of common ground and recognize that both parties have high aspirations for any communal solution. The size of common ground is dependent upon the mediator's assessment of the probability that a mutually acceptable solution will be found. For example, if the disputing parties are business partners, any dispute that leads to a stoppage in business productivity could hurt both of the parties. Therefore, it is likely that the disputants will agree that they want to continue to do business together and concur that the solution should be quick and cost effective for both parties. Because both parties have similar end goals, the mediator can guide them toward resolutions that will benefit both groups. While the compensation strategy shares the same high settlement aspirations as the integrative solution, the mediator recognizes that there is little common ground between the parties. Therefore, the best solution involves meeting one party's reservation value and compensating by other means the party that is forced to acquiesce. For example, there is a dispute between a used-car salesperson and a customer over a car that the customer purchased. The customer is angry because the car that was sold to her broke down three weeks after she purchased it and requires $500 to repair. She wants the salesperson to take back the lemon and refund the money she spent on the vehicle. However, the salesperson refuses to buy back the vehicle. The customer is angry because she does not feel that the salesperson disclosed all of the relevant information about the car's history prior to the purchase. In this situation, both parties have high aspirations, but there is little common ground to come to
10. THE ROLE OF THIRD PARTIES/MEDIATION IN MANAGING CONFLICT
an integrative solution. In this case, the mediator might suggest that the salesperson pay the customer for a portion of the repairs instead of buying back the vehicle. Using this compensation strategy, the salesperson pays a small fee (meetingthe reservation value), and the customer is compensated for acquiescing and keeping the car. However, when both disputing parties have low expectations for reaching a settlement and there is little common ground between them, it may be advisable for the mediator to engage in pressing because of the likely failure of all of the other strategies due to the uncertainty that the parties can reach a mutual agreement given that their current reservation values do not overlap. In this case, "pressing" that is of the form that causes a party (or parties) to change their reservation value may lead to satisfaction with the mediation outcome (mediators should take care not to apply too much coercion because it can sometimes cause parties to reevaluate the outcome shortly after settlement). For example, mediators may set a deadline for the disputants to reach an agreement,which can serve to make the disputants more flexible and lower their reservation values (Carnevale & Lawler, 1986).Moreover, they can raise questions to each party as to the basis of their reservation values. If the mediator does decide to use the fourth strategy, inaction, it is because he or she assesses that both parties have low aspirations and a large amount of common ground. In other words, the disputants are willing to compromise on their positions and the mediator assesses that they are working toward complementary goals. In this case, the parties will most likely be able to compromise without additional direction from the mediator. Unfortunately, less experienced or unskilled mediators may gravitate toward inaction because it requires the least amount of intellectual strain. Hence, the tactic of inaction may be incorrectly chosen due to its appeal as being the easiest choice. In addition to Carnevale's (1986) taxonomy, Kressel (2000) set forth a typology of his own with regard to mediator behavior. In the past, this typology was used to describe other types of mediation (Kressel, 1972, 1985; Kressel & Deutsch, 1977; Kressel & Pruitt, 1985; Carnevale, Lim, & McLaughlin, 1989). Although multidimensional scaling has found similar dimension in the previous research (McLaughlin, Carnevale, & Lim, 1991), Kressel (2000) further simplified earlier typologies and suggested that a three-factor structure was best to describe mediator strategy. Kressel divided mediator behavior into reflexive, contextual, and substantive strategies. Kressel's strategies were different from Carnevale's in that they depicted the more general ways by which mediators could approach a conflict situation. Specifically, reflexive interventions occur when the mediator puts in an initial effort to establish the foundation on which later dispute resolution will take place. Rapport building and neutrality are essential components of this strategy. And, Kressel emphasized that the mediator must be acceptable to both parties in order for this tactic to be truly successful. On the other hand, in contextual interventions, the
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mediator focuses on producing a climate that promotes problem-solving dialogue between the parties. Finally, substantive interventions spotlight the specific issues in the dispute. When using this strategy, the primary goal of the mediator is to deal with the issues by some means. In practice, mediators may espouse all three types of strategiesto varying extents. Indeed, researchers suggested that, many times, tactics are used contingently depending on the mediators' assessmentsof the dispute (Lim & Carnevale, 1990). Specifically, they found that mediators thought certain tactics were acceptable in some situations, but not in others. For example, substantive/press tactics were negatively associated with settlement under low levels of hostility but positively related under high levels of hostility.
Managerial Intervention. The aforementioned tactics are common among professional mediators due to the clear roles and defined limits that mediators, arbitrators, and fact finders have in managing disputes (Elkouri & Elkouri, 1979).Managers, on the other hand, have more flexibility to select one or any combination of the previously mentioned strategies. Additionally, managers often are not bound by the same constraints as are third parties (Sheppard,Lewicki, & Minton, 1986).Moreover, due to the managers' inherent closeness to the conflict, they may adopt a different set of dispute resolution tactics than a detached third party. Formal or appointed third parties are less likely to have a vested interest in the outcome of the dispute. Managers, however, are often involved in the conflict and will have to deal with the repercussions if the dispute is not resolved properly (Lewicki& Sheppard, 1985).Indeed, research found that managers utilize tactics that are distinct from the ones professional mediators employ to resolve workplace conflict (Sheppardet al., 1987). JustasCarnevale (1986)suggested several determinants of formalthirdparty strategies, Pinkley, Neale, Brittain, and Northcraft (1995)examined the relevant literature and extracted situational factors that they expected to influence managerial selection: (a) dispute intervention goals of the manager (Sheppard, 1983); (b) amount of conflict (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985); (c) time constraints (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985) and importance of the issue (Carnevale & Conlon, 1988);(d)power balance and relationship of the conflicting parties (Karambayya & Brett, 1989);and (e)hierarchical positioning of third party (Heller, 1981). In a related vein, we find a drawback that echoes throughout all of the aforementioned studies. Specifically, the experimenters, and not the managers, identified and categorized the situational factors posited to affect managerial strategy selection. To deal with this problem in the tactic research, Pinkley et al. (1995) used an inductive method that allowed managers to identify, categorize, and label the conflict resolution tactics that they used. Their use of.multidimensiona1scaling provided a means of detecting and quantitatively grouping the dispute resolution strategies of managers, even when the managers were unable to conceptualize their
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behavior fully in terms of a specific strategic category. Their results evidenced five managerial intervention dimensions: "(1) Attention given to stated versus underlying problem; (2) disputant commitment forced versus encouraged; (3) manager versus disputant decision control; (4) manager approaches conflict versus manager avoids conflict; and (5) dispute is handled publicly versus privately" (Pinkleyet al., 1995,p. 398). In sum, Pinkley et al. (1995)supplied support for an empirically tested and inductively derived taxonomy of managerial conflict resolution tactics as described by managers. Their findings, along the previously mentioned experimenter-derived situational factors, may serve as a base for future research in this area. Undoubtedly, subsequent research endeavors are required to provide a clearer picture of the elements that drive a manager to pick a given strategy. Along those lines, we move to the intervention goals of the manager.
Dispute intervention goals of the manager. Sheppard (1983) argued that managerial strategy is chosen based on the intervention goal with which the manager is most concerned. The author laid out four possible goals that a manager could be striving for during the dispute resolution process: efficiency, effectiveness, fairness, and disputant satisfaction. Therefore, the goal that the manager espouses will dictate, to some extent, the type of intervention strategy that should be employed. For example, if a manager is concerned only with the time efficiency of the conflict resolution, he or she may engage in pressing and attempt to coerce the parties to come to a settlement. While this strategy may be efficient, the disputants may perceive it as unfair. However, in the real world, managers often desire conflicting goals, such as settling a dispute quickly while maintaining fairness. This makes the selection of an intervention strategy arduous.
Intensity of the dispute. If a manager detects an intense strain between the disputants, this may impact the selection of a dispute resolution technique. The manager must gauge the intensity of the conflict by means of discussion with both of the parties to decide how involved to become in the dispute. If the parties are on somewhat amicable terms, the manager may choose to let the disputants solvethe problem on their own. However, if one or both parties are obdurate and refuse to negotiate, the manager may require a higher level of involvement of him- or herself (Carnevale & Conlon, 1988; Kressel & Pruitt, 1985).
Time constraints. Mostdecisionsaremadeunder timeconstraintsimposed by the pace of ongoing events, by explicit deadlines, or by others becoming impatient with the decision maker's indecisiveness(Benson& Beach, 1996). The effects of time constraints on choice are remarkably consistent: decision makers
speed up execution of their decision strategies or switch to simpler strategies, sometimes speeding up after having switched (Edland & Svenson, 1993; Maule & Mackie, 1990; Payne, Bettman, & Johnson, 1988;
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Smith, Mitchell, & Beach, 1982; Svenson & Benson, 1993; Svenson, Edland, & Slovic, 1990; Svenson & Maule, 1993; Wright, 1974; Zakay, 1985). Similar effects occur when people need to solve disputes under time pressure. For instance, time pressure can produce epistemic freezing in which people become less aware of plausible alternatives during dispute resolution (Kruglanski & Freund, 1983).Time pressure can also result in a phenomenon called "closure of the mind" (De Dreu, 2003). Closure of the mind increases disputants' reliance on inadequate decision heuristics during the dispute resolution process. Time pressure can also influence the process and outcome of integrative bargaining (Carnevale & Lawler, 1986).For example, if negotiators have an individualist orientation, time pressure produces more nonagreements and poor negotiation outcomes. If negotiators adopt a cooperative orientation, negotiators achieve better negotiation outcomes. When managers feel the need to solve disputes in a brief amount of time, they will generally engage in tactics that allow them maximum outcome control (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985).In fact, mediated dispute resolution often occurs when one or all of the parties involved feel some sense of urgency to solve a dispute that the original parties could not solve alone. The perceived urgency may result from internal or external time constraints. The internal constraints include things like arbitrary deadlines selected by the negotiator or mediator that provide impetus for a quick settlement (Cropanzano et al., 1999).External constraints include things like shareholder meetings, court dates, and contract deadlines. Urgency can also result from the parties involved thinking about the potential outcome of the negotiation process (the outcome can be positive, negative, or neutral). We will call this "outcome urgency." For many disputes, the parties involved must feel a sense of time urgency or outcome urgency. If procrastination is advantageous to one or all parties involved, there is little incentive to settle the dispute. Importance of the issue. The extent to which the organization will be negatively affected by the dispute will influence the strength of actions to be taken by the organization. For example, a complaint filed against a company with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the company of racial discrimination would most likely receive a stronger and more immediate response from the company than a petty squabble between two employees about seniority for picking vacation time. When the dispute has the potential to impact the welfare of the company negatively, managers are apt to address the issue with greater urgency (Pinkley et al., 1995). Indeed, empirical research
supports this idea (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985; Sheppard et al., 1986).
Power balance between the conflicting parties. Research has found that the relationship of the manager to the disputants is a key determinant of the intervention tactic used (Karambayya & Brett, 1989; Kipnis & Schmidt,
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1983). Additionally, research suggested that the power balance between the disputants influencesstrategy choice (Sheppard et al., 1986).Laskewitz, Van de Vliert, and De Dreu (1994)tried to determine whether a mediator's decision to choose sides was a function of the power differential between the disputants. They found that mediators tend to side with the less powerful party only when both parties have the same abilities to sanction the mediator. When the stronger party also has more power to sanction the mediator, the mediator sides with the stronger disputant. Hence, the propensity to balance the power between both disputants is moderated by the self-interest of the mediator. Furthermore, outcomes appear to be affected by the power balance of the disputants and what the mediator asks them to consider. Specifically, Arunachalam, Lytle, and Wall (2001) found that, when the mediator suggested to the powerful party he or she should show concern for the weaker party, this reduced the powerful party's outcomes. For weaker parties, this suggestion increased the outcomes. However, no interaction was found with regard to joint outcomes. These finding would suggest that it might not always be beneficial to express concern for the other disputant, especially if you are the powerful party. But, further research should be conducted before any prescriptive suggestions are made.
Hierarchical positioning of the third party. Based on Heller's (1971, 1981) work, there was some indication that managers high in the hierarchy are more willing to share power. However, this topic has not been thoroughly examined and much more work still needs to be done.
Future Research Needs and Critical Omissions While a "one-size-fits-all" approach may not be appropriate when sequencing the dispute resolution system, it definitely does not seem fitting when defining the goals of the mediation process. Specifically, with the advent of transformative mediation, mediators that espouse this holistic methodology are structuring their interventions to promote a healing process that proposes not only to solve the dispute but also to morally enhance the minds of the conflicting parties by coaching them to forgive and accept. These are admirable objectivesbut lofty goals at the same time. Moreover, one must assume that once dueling opponents are willing to forgive and embrace the others' viewpoint. Future research should examine whether or not these are attainable objectives. Explicitly under what circumstances is transformative mediation appropriate? Are certain disputes less likely to benefit from this technique than others are? If so, what are they? Additionally, should both formal third party mediators and managers use transformative mediation? From a theoretical perspective, fine tuning the definition of third party strategies still needs to be
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accomplished.For example,is transformative mediationactuallya new idea, or have mediators been acting in accordance with this model all along? There are several areas related to the effects of time constraints on the mediation process that warrant future research. One such area is the relationship between time constraints and the mediation process. For example, do the effects of time constraints differ depending on the stage of the mediation process at which the time constraint occurs? A second area that warrants future research is the relationshipbetween time constraints and the perspective of the parties in the dispute. As stated earlier in this manuscript, most research on mediation in the workplace has focused on the worker's perspective (e.g., McDermott, Obar, Jose, & Bowers, 2000). Future research should address the effects of time constraints on the mediation process from various perspectives including the perspectives of the employer, employee, and the legal system. A third area for future research is the relationship between time constraints and the strategy or type of third party mediation used by the parties involved in the dispute. For instance, researchers could investigate if time constraints affect facilitation, advising, mediation, and/or arbitration in the same manner. Researchers could also investigate whether having time constraints influences the type of mediation that occurs (e.g., under severe time constraints disputantsprefer arbitration to facilitationbecause they need resolution quickly). From a methodological standpoint, it would be beneficial to see more qualitative research
examining the most efficient and effective strategies that third parties employ in various situations. Specifically, while we know the different types of strategies that third parties utilize, we still do not know which ones work the best. Similarly, are certain goals better for a mediator to espouse than other goals? Additional qualitative research in organizational settings may help to answer these questions. No doubt, scholars will have future lines of research for years to come in the area of mediatorstrategy and behavior.
COMBINING FORMAL AND INFORMAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION Thus far we have implied that formal and informal third-party dispute resolution were completely separate. While this is a reasonable strategy for purposes of explication, the reader should not be misled. Organizations often combine formal and informal strategies into a system with a well-defined progression. Firms have long been advised to sequence the different forms of resolution so that they proceed from low cost to high cost (e.g., Brett, Goldberg, & Ury, 1990; Gordon & Miller, 1984; Starke & Notz, 1981; Weiss & Hughes, 2005). The less expensive initial stages are typically less formal and more flexible; the more expensive later stages are typically more formal and structured.
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There is evidence that proper sequencing can improve the effectiveness of dispute resolution systems. For one thing, it seems that the majority of complaints are resolved at the earlier and lower costs stages (e.g., Graham & Heshizer, 1979).This would seem to suggest that beginning with informal and less expensive tactics and only later moving toward more expensiveprocedures might well save organizationsconsiderable money. Moreover, at least in union settings, labor/management relations are better when grievancesare settled before escalation up the hierarchy (Turner & Robinson, 1972).While supportive in a general sort of way, available research on sequencing leaves many questions unanswered. Ross and Conlon (2000)took up one interestingquestion.These authors compared the effectiveness of mediation-arbitration (med-arb) with arbitration-mediation (arb-med). Med-arb follows the traditional low to high cost procession. The disputants are given a mediator and a predetermined deadline. If they do not resolve their differences within this time, then the mediator becomes an arbitrator. Med-arb has much to recommend it (Ross & Conlon, 2000), but it can be turned on its head. Saunders (1993) argued that arb-med is also a viable procedure. In any case, arb-med proceeds through three steps. In the first part, an arbitrator listens to the disputes and prepares a recommendation. However, that recommendation is not issued. Rather, the arbitrator moves to the second part, whereby he or she acts as a mediator. If this attempt at mediation remains unsuccessful, then the arbitrator presents the binding opinion to the disputants. While the conflicting parties may prefer med-arb, Ross and Conlon (2000) argued that arb-med will promote more cooperative behavior, greater information disclosure, and more agreement with.mediator settlements. However, these authors further maintain that arb-med may be less advantageous than med-arb when long-range outcomes are considered.
Future Research Needs and Critical Omissions If future research supports Ross and Conlon's (2000) propositions, it suggests that the overall cost of a system might vary depending on how the components are sequenced. Whether one prefers arb-med or med-arb, there seem to be some synergies that result from considering the order in which they occur. Mediation plus arbitration may not be the same as arbitration plus mediation. Thinking of dispute management procedures as part of larger units could bring additional insights to our knowledge; scholars should not limit themselves to examining each stage in isolation from the others. Combining aspects of both formal and informal dispute resolution raises a number of interesting questions. Perhaps the most interesting is the importance of sequencing in the dispute resolution system. Ross and
GOLDMAN, CROPANZANO, STEIN, A N D BENSON
Conlon's (2000) ideas as to when arb-med may be preferable over medarb offered fresh insights into what is often viewed as a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Bendersky (2003) offered her own novel twist on the sequencing issue-that multiple approaches could be pursued at once. An empirical test of this model, if supported, may offer practical benefits. Up until this point, we may have left the reader with the impression that workers and organizations are about equally likely to embrace disputing mechanisms. However, this is not necessarily the case (Kressel, 2000). Before we leave this section, which deals more with organizational designs on disputing mechanisms, we wanted to address organizational acceptance to mediation, as an example of dispute mechanisms. We chose mediation because it is perhaps the most common dispute resolution vehicle (it can, for example, constitute both an informal and formal dispute resolution mechanism) and it is one for which there exists important research investigating organizational reactions to it.
ORGANIZATIONAL APPROACHES TO FORMAL DISPUTING: THE CASE OF MEDIATION Historically, claimants (employees)have been more willing to mediate than organizations (e.g., McDermott et al., 2000). According to the EEOC, workers want to mediate 87%of discriminationclaims while organizations agree to it only 3l0/0of the time (D.Grinberg, personal communication
, July 21,2004). In that context, one study found that employers were hesitant to participate for the following reasons: (a) they did not believe the case had "merit" (although it was not always clear what the organizational basis for this judgment was it did include the perception that the EEOC itself would not find a "reasonable cause" finding in the case); and (b) they perceived that EEOC mediation required monetary settlement(which,by implication, they must have disagreed with; McDermott, Jose, & Obar, 2003).In another study, lawyersfor the constructionindustry recommended that their clients mediate in most or all disputes less than half (49.3%)of the time (Henderson, 1996).Some of the reasons industry lawyers recommended against mediation were stated as (a) the dispute involved a novel interpretation of law (something, it should be noted, that a deep pockets organization is more capable of making "novel" than most workers); (b) the credibility of a witness is an issue; or (c) the opposing party or his or her representative was considered untrustworthy or unlikely to compromise. So why do organizations agree to mediate disputes? In this same construction industry
study, some reasons for a recommendation of mediation were stated as follows: (a)desire for an ongoing relationship, (b)need for a quick resolution of disputes, (c) an essential economical alternative to litigation, and (d)desire for privacy and confidentiality.This last factor, privacy, can often be compelling. A public dispute, especially in a large, publicly traded company, can have devastating effects. It can adversely
10. THE ROLE OF THIRD PARTIESIMEDIATION IN MANAGING CONFLICT
affect recruiting and worker morale, and it may spawn similar claim'sand may even adversely affect the stock price
(e.g., Texaco). Mediation has proven popular because, to a large degree, it works and has led to many positive perceptual outcomes. Research indicates settlement rates for mediation at around 60%-78% and user satisfaction at 75% or more (Brett, Barsness, & Goldberg, 1996; Kressel, Pruitt, & Assoc., 1989). One of the most encouraging of these findings is the satisfaction of the parties with the short-term outcomes of mediation (Pruitt, Peirce, McGillicuddy & Syna, 1992). However, there is scant evidence of long-term successwith mediation. What little evidence does exist suggestslittle relationship between short-term success in mediation and long-term success (Pruitt, Peirce, & McGillicuddy, 1993; Pruitt, Peirce, Zubek, McGillicuddy, & Welton, 1993).Moreover, as noted earlier, mediation has a positive effect on perceptions of justice as well. In particular, the high decision and process control inherent in mediation leads to increased perceptions of procedural justice (Ross & Conlon, 2000). Behaviorally, besides the obvious fact that mediation reduces conflicts, there is some evidence that mediation may facilitate discussion with coworkers and restore the ability to sleep (when that is an issue; Bergmann & Volkema, 1994).An interesting question for mediation researchers is the appropriate criterion variable to measure common behavioral outcomes. Often, "settlement" has been deemed the measure. However, in certain circumstances, it may be more appropriate to measure "degree of compromise" or "willingness to recommend to others," as well as other variables (Henderson, 1996).
Future Research Needs and Critical Omissions As previously suggested, for practical reasons alone, research is needed to better understand why organizationsagree to mediate employmentdisputes at significantly lower rates than employees. Some possible avenues for exploration include anticipated organizational justice. That is, there is some evidence that organizations believe among other things that the federal mediators
may be biased against them (McDermott et al., 2000). This suggests a violation of perceived or anticipated procedural justice may be an issue to some organizations in mediation situtations (Colquitt, 2001). Moreover, as previously suggested, the benefits of mediation over litigation in terms of privacy and confidentiality is an area worthy of further research in part because it has not received much attention to date. If future research supports this reason, this can be an important leverage for mediators and others interested in this technique to use to encourage use of mediation. Finally, most research on mediation in the workplace has focused on the worker's perspective (e.g., McDermott et al., 2000). However, the limiting factor in workplace mediation has been organizations because they
GOLDMAN, CROPANZANO, STEIN, AND BENSON participate in mediation at far lower rates than individual employees do. Research that is able to answer questions surrounding this issue will be valuable to research and practice.
Third-party dispute resolution has exploded in popularity during the
last 20 years or so. It has proven itself to have many advantages over tra-
ditional court-based approaches to resolving conflicts. Yet, there is still
much we do not know or fully appreciate about this phenomenon. We
hope that this chapter offers some fresh insights on this important issue.
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BM Goldman, R Cropanzano, J Stein