Workplace mediation and the empowerment of disputants: rhetoric or reality?
Version of Record online: 18 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Author(s). Industrial Relations Journal © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Industrial Relations Journal
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 189–209, March 2013
How to Cite
Bennett, T. (2013), Workplace mediation and the empowerment of disputants: rhetoric or reality?. Industrial Relations Journal, 44: 189–209. doi: 10.1111/irj.12012
- Issue online: 18 MAR 2013
- Version of Record online: 18 MAR 2013
There has been a growing interest in the field of employee relations in the use of mediation in seeking to resolve disputes in the workplace. Mediation is a model of dispute resolution, it is argued, that lends itself particularly well to situations where the parties have become entrenched in their positions. The study's timeliness is evident in the Government's recent strategic focus on workplace conflict, specifically its current initiative to pilot mediation networks within the small and medium enterprises sector. The research was carried out over a nine-month period ending in March 2012. It is based on the views and experiences of 60 respondents from over 40 cross-sectoral organisations in the North of England. Findings revealed that the main reasons for the disputes referred for mediation were relationship problems, poor communication and poorly perceived management style and practice. Significantly, differences in sector or occupation could also impact on whether cases went to mediation.