Title: Mediation in Hierarchical Labor Conflicts
Authors: Bollen, Katalien
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2014
Abstract: Workplace mediation is increasingly used to mediate hierarchical labor conflicts face-to-face as well as online. Few studies however, have investigated such mediations. Therefore, little is known about the implications of parties' hierarchy and power on the mediation process, its outcome as well as parties' satisfaction with the mediation or perceptions of its effectiveness. This is even more so for the effects of (partly) online mediation in hierarchical labor conflicts. In the present dissertation, we wish to respond to these lacunae. The aims of the dissertation are threefold. First, we investigate the impact of formal hierarchical position on parties' experience of anger recognition on the part of the mediator and parties' evaluation of the mediation. Second, we examine whether the mediation type used (face-to-face versus the use of an online intake) affects subordinates' and supervisors' satisfaction with the mediation. Third, we explore whether parties' perceived power (both relational power and situational power) mediates the relation between hierarchical position and parties' satisfaction with the mediation. Finally, we explore whether subordinates' and supervisors' perceptions of power experienced during the mediation are affected by the use of an online intake. In sum, we investigate how hierarchical position, perceived power and the mediation type used relate to parties' perceptions of the mediation. To answer these questions, we bring together three streams of literature: theories of power, mediation and computer-mediated communication. We adapt the mediation model of Herrman (2006) to the context of workplace mediation and use this as an heuristic model for our research (Chapter 2). Then, we explore literature on computer-mediated communication and its potential relation to mediation (Chapter 3). After these theoretical investigations, we present empirical research. We use data from real mediation cases dealing with hierarchical labor conflicts. Both face-to-face mediations and mediations in which an online intake is used before joint sessions in the mediation are included. Our data show that when involved in face-to-face mediations, hierarchical position affects parties' perceptions and evaluations of the mediation: Although both subordinates and supervisors perceive the mediation as effective and feel satisfied with the mediation, supervisors perceive the mediation as more effective (Chapter 4) and feel more satisfied (Chapter 5). Our findings reveal different processes for subordinates as compared to supervisors that relate to perceived effectiveness: whereas subordinates' perceptions of mediation effectiveness are affected by anger recognition (Chapter 4), this is not so for supervisors. However, when an online intake is used in the mediation, subordinates and supervisors feel equally satisfied, suggesting that the use of an online intake mitigated the effects of hierarchy (Chapter 5). We further show that perceived power acts as a mediator in the relation between hierarchical position and satisfaction with the mediation (Chapter 6). We conclude the dissertation with a summary of our key findings and a discussion of theoretical and practical implications of our research. Then, we formulate some practical implications that may help to mediate hierarchical labor conflicts and outline valuable paths for future research (Chapter 7). <span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;MS Mincho&quot;;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:JA;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA" lang="EN-US"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family:AdvMINION-R;mso-ansi-language:EN-US" lang="EN-US"><w:latentstyles deflockedstate="false" defunhidewhenused="true"  <w:lsdexception="" locked="false" priority="0" semihidden="false"  
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Work, Organisational and Personnel Psychology
Occupational & Organisational Psychology and Professional Learning - miscellaneous
Rector Roger Dillemans Institute for Family Property Law

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