Face First: Pre-Mediation Caucus and Face in Employment Disputes

36 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2009 Last revised: 4 Nov 2009

Date Written: June 15, 2009

Abstract

Building on face theory, we propose that managers can mediate disputes more effectively when they use a pre-mediation caucus (a separate meeting with each disputant prior to any joint meeting) to give face to each disputant. A field study of 540 employment disputes indicates that mediators who use the pre-mediation caucus to affirm face by establishing trust but not to resolve the dispute by having a substantive discussion, increase settlement quality and reduce conflict. A second interview and survey study confirmed these findings but also suggested that pre-mediation caucuses are more effectively used by experienced mediators.

Suggested Citation

Swaab, Roderick I., Face First: Pre-Mediation Caucus and Face in Employment Disputes (June 15, 2009). 22nd Annual IACM Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1493514 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1493514

Roderick I. Swaab (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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