When Negotiation Fails, Why Not Mediate? An Exercise to Introduce Students to Mediation as an Essential Dispute Resolution Tool
This article introduces an exercise that enables students to experience mediation as an essential dispute resolution tool. Students play various roles such as mediator, party to the dispute, impacted supervisor, or representative of the involved company. Students actively work to fashion a collaborative solution to an employment-related dispute in the context of an Equal Employment Opportunity charge against an individual and the company, alleging workplace sexual harassment. Originally developed for an MBA class on socially responsible decision-making, it also may be used in classes on negotiations, organizational behavior, human resources, and business law at both the graduate and undergraduate levels and, with modification, for synchronous online classes. Student learning goals include: 1) employing active listening, paraphrasing, and empathetic responses; 2) identifying interests as a basis for a negotiated solution as well as each parties’ best alternative to a negotiated resolution to use as leverage; and 3) understanding content and the use of confidentiality and settlement agreements in the context of mediation.
Keywords: applied learning, pedagogy, mediation, negotiation, dispute resolution, ethics, management, human resources, business law
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