University of Canberra – School of Law
Patricia L. Easteal
University of Canberra – School of Law and Justice
July 24, 2016
Allison Ballard and Patricia Easteal (2016) (Alternative) Dispute Resolution and Workplace Bullying: Some Pros and Cons from the Coalface. Alternative Law Journal 41(2) 105-109.
We wondered how bullying targets who had participated in mediation or conciliation experienced both process and outcome. Specifically, we wanted to identify what variables, if any, affect perceptions of the efficacy of mediation or conciliation. We were also interested in whether settlement necessarily equates with feelings of satisfaction or justice. Accordingly, 10 employee respondents were recruited via a Survey Monkey email invitation to 20 people who had recently participated in one or more tribunal-facilitated conciliation and/or court-referred mediation. Their responses to the four open-ended questions were analysed thematically. The key themes identified were the perceived benefits (and detriments) of participating in ADR, perceptions of bias by the mediator/conciliator practitioner, the positive impact of being legally represented or having legal advice throughout the process, the positive impact of having a support person, feelings of being re-traumatised by the process, feelings of concern about the future repercussions of challenging employer behaviour (including adverse impacts on future employment), and feelings of justice (or lack of it) as a result of the outcome of the process.