Cultural Contingencies of Mediation: Effectiveness of Mediation Styles in Intercultural Disputes
Gelfand, Michele J.
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The difficulties of intercultural negotiations are well established, yet few studies have examined the factors that facilitate the successful resolution of these disputes. This research took a dynamic approach and examined the types of mediation tactics that are most effective in intercultural disputes given specific disputant characteristics. One-hundred and ten participants from the United States and Turkey negotiated a community-based dispute using a newly developed virtual lab. Dyads were randomly assigned to negotiate with a formulative computer mediator, a manipulative computer mediator, or in an unmediated control condition. As predicted, the results showed a significant interaction between manipulative mediation and dispute difficulty; manipulative mediation produced better objective and subjective outcomes in dyads that reported difficult disputing conditions than in dyads with favorable conditions. The results support the contingency approach using two new indicators of difficult conditions (generalized trust and cultural intelligence).