Third party in workplace conflicts : the mediator's conflict management and intercultural competences
Published inJyväskylä studies in business and economics
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The purpose of this study is to examine successful workplace mediators’ conflict management and intercultural competences thus contributing to practitioner dialogue on mediator competences and continuous professional development. The target audience comprises mediators, managers, human resources specialists and academics. The research develops a theoretical Cone Model of Workplace Mediator Competences and reflects it against the empirical findings from in-depth interviews of 13 experienced and highly-regarded workplace mediators from Australia and New Zealand. It is suggested that conflicts are an essential part of a workplace and that the objective of conflict management is to develop strategies to appropriately manage them and create methods to empower constructive functions of conflicts, enhance organizational learning and performance and minimize potential dysfunctions of conflicts. The study is based on the premise that efficient and appropriate workplace conflict management is vital for increasingly multicultural workplaces due to the negative influence of unresolved conflicts, potentially resulting in increased staff turnover rates and attrition in organizational effectiveness. The study presents four core findings. Firstly, mediators either apply a standard mediation process or adapt the process and related procedures to the requirements of a specific conflict. Secondly, mediators display a task or relationship orientation depending on the preferred emphasis on resolving the conflicting issues or restoring the relationship. Thirdly, the study concludes that the proposed Cone Model represents the mediator’s competence areas reasonably well in practice. The importance of mediation and life experience and selfmanagement competence, particularly reflection, debrief and personal wellbeing is emphasized. Finally, it is suggested that mediators illustrate preference towards one of the following four types of intercultural mediation approaches: those who actively consider the intercultural aspect of mediation and seek to improve their understanding accordingly; those who manage intercultural situations based on intuition as an ’autopilot’ approach; those who regard cultural considerations as a potential cause of bias and thus rely on a standard process; and those who perceive the intercultural aspect of mediation as irrelevant. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
mediation workplace conflict third party involvement competence model intercultural competence sovittelijat sovittelu työelämä työpaikat konfliktit konfliktinhallinta ristiriidat kansainvälinen viestintä kulttuurienvälinen viestintä kulttuurienvälinen vuorovaikutus kansainvälisyys viestintä monikulttuurisuus kulttuurienvälisyys kulttuuriosaaminen ammatillinen kehitys
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