Conflict in the compact city : preferences and the search for justice

Condliffe, Peter (2012) Conflict in the compact city : preferences and the search for justice. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


In this study the high density housing sector was studied as a domain for the development of an alternative model of dispute management to that contained in the relevant statutory regime. This formed the basis for a simulation that would empirically test two hundred and fifty-two participants on three levels. These were their preferences, their perceptions of justice and some elements of efficiency. Each of these levels were tested in relation to three processes: mediation followed by arbitration conducted by the same person; mediation followed by arbitration conducted by a different person; and arbitration followed by mediation conducted by the same person. The research was constructed around two content theories: the instrumental model and the relational model. The instrumental model is principally concerned with the distribution of control in intervention processes. Control theory in particular underpinned the preference research. Relational models, including the group-value model, propose that justice decisions lead to conclusions about one’s self-identity and self-esteem and how needs around these are met. The relational models, particularly heuristic fairness theory, were useful in examining the impact of outcomes and other variables on overall perceptions of fairness. Participants preferred a process that they judged gave them more control. In this research mediation followed by arbitration by the same person was preferred. Participants did not rate any of the three processes more just than the others at postmediation and post-arbitration stages of the experiment excepting those participants who received an adverse outcome at the end of the arbitration. These participants appeared to use the information about the adverse outcome as a shortcut, or heuristic, in deciding whether the process in a broader sense was fair. The efficiency of the three simulated processes was examined to provide some data about the way in which they can be evaluated on various criteria and how these could be integrated with justice measures.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1801 Law
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords Australia, dispute resolution, conciliation, disputes, families and owners corporations, OC, negotiation support systems, NSS, Australian housing sector, cities, flats, apartments, suburbs, neighbourhood disputing, neighbours, households
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