Edited by Oluremi B. Ayoko, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Karen A. Jehn
Chapter 28: Mediating hierarchical labor conflicts: Dynamics and interventions
AbstractThis chapter explores the use of mediation in hierarchical conflicts in organizations. It is written for practitioners, researchers and students in conflict management. The first aim is to provide a practical overview of recent literature and research on mediation in conflicts between supervisors and subordinates. Special attention is given to the use of online tools in these mediations. The second aim is to offer a useful guide for mediators and researchers about how and when mediation can help resolve hierarchical conflicts. We first address the characteristics of hierarchical labor conflicts, and the challenges these pose on mediation in terms of procedural justice and development of trust. Additionally, we discuss specific mediator tactics that lead to effective mediation outcomes: the use of reflexive tactics and caucusing. Also, we explore the use of e-supported mediation as a tool to promote power balance in the mediation. The chapter concludes with ten recommendations for mediators working on hierarchical conflicts in organizations.
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