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Keywords:

  • mediation;
  • power;
  • hierarchy;
  • technology

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of hierarchical differences on mediation satisfaction in e-supported mediations compared to face-to-face mediations. Specifically, we compare face-to-face mediations and mediations in which an online intake is used before the joint face-to-face session (hybrid types of mediation). We assume that the use of an online intake before the joint mediation mitigates the effects of hierarchy on parties' satisfaction with the mediation. To test our hypotheses, we use data from real mediation cases dealing with hierarchical labor conflicts in the Netherlands. In line with our hypothesis, results show that supervisors feel more satisfied with the mediation when involved in a face-to-face mediation, but subordinates and supervisors feel equally satisfied when an online intake is used before the mediation. Implications for mediation theory and practice are discussed.