The Rhetoric and Reality of Workplace Mediation

Van Gramberg, Bernadine (2003) The Rhetoric and Reality of Workplace Mediation. Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


Three mediator dilemmas emerging from the critical literature on alternative dispute resolution were explored in this study of workplace mediation. The study found that most surveyed practitioners and industrial relations experts believed that mediators would take measures to circumvent the dilemmas, should they arise. These measures include applying appropriate standards and laws to ADR decisions; balancing power between disputants; and not exercising bias in order to obtain future work. In other words, the skills and attributes of ADR practitioners were represented by the surveyed population as being vital to delivering key qualities of mediation such as fairness and independence. However, three case studies of workplace mediation demonstrated that these normative traits were not met by the reality of mediator practice. The study raises training and accreditation issues for workplace mediators and questions the quality of workplace justice resulting from dispute resolution outcomes.

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Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords workplace mediation; ADR; fairness; independence
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