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Research on Mediator Style: A Summary and Some Research Suggestions



James Wall, Management, 506 Cornell, University of Missouri—Columbia, Columbia, MO, 65211 U.S.A.


Empirical research on mediator style, after promising beginnings, has not kept pace with the significant and continuing interest of mediation practitioners in mediator stylistic behavior and thinking. In the hopes of closing the research-practice gap, we consider the practical and conceptual importance of conducting research on mediator style. We then present an overview of what is known empirically about mediator stylistic behavior, with an emphasis on the research papers in this volume. Those papers address three major issues: (a) What mediators say about their stylistic preferences; (b) the degree to which mediators show stylistically flexibility; and (c) the relative impact of mediator style on the process and outcomes of mediation. We thenconsider why the empirical record on mediator style is still relatively weak, and we offer suggestions for moving forward along more vigorous research lines.