Two reports named Shaping the Agenda 1 and 2 were officially launched on Monday 10th October 2016 in Maynooth University Ireland. The research team is from the Kennedy Institute Workplace Mediation Research Group (KIWMRG), with this particular research project led by Dr Deirdre Curran (NUIG) and commissioned by the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII), the professional association for mediators in Ireland. The research identified the competencies, skills and behaviours of workplace mediators through an extensive literature review (and reported in the report entitled: Shaping the Agenda 1: Exploring the Competencies, Skills and Behaviours of Effective Workplace Mediators), and highlighted the implications for the development of workplace mediation in Ireland (published in the report: Shaping the Agenda 2: Implications for Workplace Mediation, Training, Standards and Practice in Ireland). The findings will set the foundation for establishing quality standards for mediators working in workplace mediation in Ireland.
The launch consisted of an esteemed panel representing trade unions, IBEC, the CIPD, the WRC, mediation services, MII and academic experts including Professor Bill Roche, University College Dublin. Peter Cassells, Director, Kennedy Institute, Sabine Walsh, the MII President and Kieran Mulvey, former Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission, oversaw the proceedings.
All speakers and participants agreed on the growing importance of mediation services in the workplace. Workplace mediation may be categorized under the broader heading of Employment Relations and remains under-researched, with the present reports highlighting the gaps in evidence-based research in this area. The relevance of context was underlined; how corporate culture, organization background and all aspects of context influence how a workplace mediation would best unfold. The relevance of workplace mediation for human resource management (HRM) researchers and practitioners was also stressed, with calls made to push mediation services experience and training to shop stewards, line managers and HR practitioners in order to deal with growing workplace disputes, which often stem from small issues that went unresolved and fester into some larger dispute. The integral role of ethics and trust in workplace mediation was stressed, with workplace mediation providing an independent, impartial system of dispute resolution; in a forum where any hierarchy is temporarily suppressed to guarantee a level playing field for alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
The full reports can be accessed here: http://kiwmrg.ie/academic-publications/shaping-the-agenda-1/ and http://kiwmrg.ie/academic-publications/shaping-the-agenda-2/