Organizational mediators siding with or against the powerful party

P Laskewitz, E Van de Vliert, C K W De Dreu

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Instead of being impartial, a mediator may side with one party as a function of the disputants' power differences, the mediator's legitimacy judgments, or the disputants' capacity to sanction the mediator. According to the power balancing theory, a mediator sides with the party that has a power disadvantage vis-a-vis the other party. The theory on siding postulates that the mediator sides with the party having more legitimate claims and/or more sanction capacity. A questionnaire study showed that organizational mediators side with the less powerful rather than the more powerful party, especially when this weaker party has equal rather than less capacity to sanction the mediator. Thus, the tendency to balance power is moderated by the mediator's self-interest. Additionally, mediators tend to favor the party they see as more legitimate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)176-188
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of applied social psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 16-Jan-1994



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