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Mediation of Hierarchical Labor Conflicts: What do we learn from research?


October 24, 2012 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Room 285

In Europe, there has been growing interest in workplace mediation as an economical efficient and effective tool to solve conflicts in a constructive and non-judicial way. In organizations, a substantial part of the conflicts can be labelled as hierarchical conflicts. Usually, the occupation of a certain formal hierarchical position is closely related to power and affects diverse psychological processes translating directly into observable differences in how people feel, think, behave) and are treated, even in power-irrelevant situations. 


Until now, there is little empirical research on the use of mediation in hierarchical labor conflicts and the effects of hierarchy or power on the mediation process and parties’ perceptions and appreciation of the mediation In this presentation we present several studies on the effectiveness of hierarchical labour mediations in a face-to-face context as well as hybrid mediations in which an online intake is implemented before the face-to-face mediation. In contrast to previous studies adopting lab studies, we rely on real labour mediations, mediated by a professional and experienced mediator We compare our results with results obtained from fully online mediated divorce conflicts and discuss potential implications. 


Speaker Bio


Katalien Bollen is a PhD candidate in Organizational psychology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. At this institute she also obtained an MA in Organizational, Work and Personnel Psychology. The subject of her doctoral thesis is ”Mediation in hierarchical labor conflicts”. Special attention is granted to the role of power and emotions during mediation as well as the use of computer-based technology in mediations. She is author of several publications on these topics and has presented at multiple international conferences. Katalien is a trained and certified mediator, is involved in several courses and is affiliated to the Leuven Center for Collaborative Management (LCM).