It Takes Three to Tango: The Geometry of Workplace Mediation

  • Lourdes MunduateEmail author
  • Katalien Bollen
  • Martin Euwema
Part of the Industrial Relations & Conflict Management book series (IRCM)


During recent years, there has been a growing interest in the field of employment relations in the use of mediation as an important way to resolve disputes in the workplace. This interest reflects the changing nature of ‘the social contract’ between employer and employees which focuses more on individualised labor relations, or i-deals. This is in line with the shift from formal and confrontational dispute resolution to more ‘interest-based’ conflict management systems in organizations in which primary attention is paid to underlying interests, needs and wishes of parties instead of collective rules. In this discussion chapter, we address first the developments in the field of workplace mediation and its relation to the changing nature of employment relations. In doing so, we refer to social exchange theory. Second, in order to assess the effectiveness of mediation, we build further on the “geometry of workplace mediation’’ already introduced in the first chapter of this handbook. The geometry resulting from the combination of the 3 dimensions (regulations, roles and relations) as described by the 3R-model is well situated as a conflict management and resolution system for the promotion of efficiency, equity and voice standards, and provides a contingent approach to the design of optimal and effective workplace mediation systems depending on the specific society, industry and organization.


Industrial Relation Dispute Resolution Conflict Management Employment Relation Dispute Resolution Alternative 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lourdes Munduate
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katalien Bollen
    • 2
  • Martin Euwema
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of SevilleSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Department of Educational Research and DevelopmentMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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