Indian and U.S. Community Mediation

James A. Wall Jr.
University of Missouri at Columbia

Vairam Arunachalam
University of Missouri at Columbia – School of Accountancy

Ronda Roberts Callister
Utah State University – Huntsman School of Business

16th Annual IACM Conference Melbourne, Australia


This study investigates the mediations of 50 Indian panchayats (a group of five), 50 Indian elders, and 50 U.S. mediators. Preliminary interviews with Indian students in the United States (n = 90) and with villagers in India (n = 60) established that Indian villagers rely principally upon a panchayat or male elder to mediate their disputes. (This conclusion was corroborated by a literature review.) Our interviews with panchayat leaders and elders in India indicated they do mediate and that their approaches differ in the predicted manner. For example, panchayats dictate concessions and agreement points more frequently than do elders. While the elders’; mediations differ from those of the panchayats, their approach is strongly influenced by the panchayats’ mediations. As a result – and as predicted by cultural efficacy and image theories – the elders’ mediations differ significantly from those of U.S. community mediators.

Indian and U.S. Community Mediation

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