The impact of hybrid dispute-resolution procedures on constituent fairness judgments

by William H. Ross, Cheryl Brantmeier and Tina Ciriacks

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2002, 32, 1151-1188.


The authors investigated the effects of hybrid third-party procedures on constituents' procedural and distributive fairness judgments, focusing specifically on Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb, where the third party first mediates and then, if mediation fails, arbitrates) and Arbitration-Mediatoin (Arb-Med, where the third party first holds an arbitration hearing and privately writes a ruling, but does not reveal the ruling; instead, third party mediates -- the ruling is revealed and imposed only if mediation fails).  In Experiment 1, three independent variables were manipulated in a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design:  third-party procedure (Med-Arb vs. Arb-Med), concession making during the mediation phase (concessions vs. no concessions), and role (labor vs. management).  Participants viewed Med-Arb as fairer than Arb-Med.  In experiment 2, three factors were again manipulated:  third-party procedure (Med-Arb vs. Arb-Med), whether confidential informaiton was revealed during mediation (confidential information revealed vs. not revealed), and arbitration outcomes (winning vs. losing).  Results suggest that when no confidential information was revealed, Med-Arb was seen as a significantly fairer procedure than Arb-Med, but if confidential information was revealed, then both procedures were equally fair.  Winning the dispute also increased fairness ratings.  Results are discussed in terms of procedural design.


Note:  This version of the abstract is a slightly longer version of the abstract that appears in the journal. The version appearing in the journal is Copyright (C) 2002 by Journal of Applied Social Psychology, V.H. Winston & Sons, Inc. and/or the journal's current owners.  All rights reserved.