Crooked Conflicts: The Effects of Conflict Asymmetry in Mediation
38 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2008
Date Written: November 9, 2008
Our main research question is how the asymmetry of conflict between two parties involved in mediation will affect the outcomes of the mediation. Conflict asymmetry is the difference in perceptions of conflict among the parties; that is, one person experiences high levels of conflict while the other person perceives that there is little or no conflict. In this multi-method study of 54 individuals involved in matched-pair mediations in an organizational setting, we examine the effects of conflict asymmetry on satisfaction with the process and results of the mediation, as well as their recommendation of mediation to others. We find that when the two people involved in mediation have asymmetrical conflict perceptions there is less satisfaction with the result and the process and this is partly due to their view of the mediator being biased. In addition, we find that the person who experienced more conflict is more likely to recommend mediation as a successful process to coworkers.
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