Mediation Case: Colectivists And Individualists Essay

1230 words - 5 pages

The mediator’s planning and preparation
J contacted S requesting that S serve as a mediator in their case and briefly explained the issues in dispute. S agreed but explained to both parties that she was about to settle another mediation case, so she asked whether they prefered to start mediation during that week or upon completions of the first mediation. J and M asked S if it could somehow affect the outcome of their mediation. S assured them that she previously had an experience when she was able to arrange two cases concurrently and besides of that, she felt that she was reconciling parties of the first mediation. Thus, J and M agreed to start mediation that week.
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If their personal goal conflicts with a groups goals, they would prefer the majority’s interests rather than theirs. Collectivists usually less concerned about professional credentials and unbiasedness, but they may be concerned that the mediator be an insider, who understands and knows the parties. They prefer evaluative mediator who knows context of the issue and who could offer solutions that would reconcile parties and restore harmony in relations with people.
In contrast to collectivists, individualists believe personal value is in a high priority. Usually individualists prefer professional mediators who have special training courses in mediation. They expect that a mediator would be fair or impartial. Individualists project themselves as independent and only connected to a particular group of people of which they are a part. If their personal goal conflicts with others’ goals, they would prefer their own interests. Individualists expect that the participants involved in the dispute are the parties, who authorized to make decisions or get involved to the decision-making process, where the parties could draw a decision tree analysis. In contrast to individualists, collectivists might view members of their ingroup who are not directly involved as the parties to a dispute.
Actually cultural diversity in our life raises a question how we should interact with them and develop common understanding between us. Also, we should understand how a particular person from a different culture may behave in conflicts or negotiations. Every culture may include “outliers” who lives in one cultural group but his behavior might be significantly different from others. Therefore, we can not generalize how people from specific nation or culture could behave or think differently. Thus, in our case, we belief that M is outlier who adapted to American culture and S did not deal much with cultural diversity in the mediation.
In the first sight, S viewed M as a more powerful one who could influence the outcome of mediation or dictate under what conditions the dispute should be resolved. Only reason for that was, he was a sole wage earner and his company was mostly based on his expertise and skills. S acknowledge that power greatly could affects negotiations, and in such case, the mediator could have focused on how to move from a balance of power within mediation to a conflict-resolution approach.
In the power-balance context, the mediator could use common power-balancing techniques. S could ask the party with low power to explain her interests, needs or how she viewed things and M, who with high power, to listen carefully, limiting himself from using his strength to gain control over the party with low power. During the negotiation, the mediator also could insist...

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