The Intercultural Mediation Project : The Bléré Experience - A Study of Conflict Management in an Intercultural Context

Sebastian, Jon

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URL http://edoc.vifapol.de/opus/volltexte/2011/2533/
Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: Berghof Forschungszentrum für Konstruktive Konfliktbearbeitung
Schriftenreihe: Berghof occasional paper
Bandnummer: 15
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 1997
Publikationsdatum: 13.01.2011
Originalveröffentlichung: http://www.berghof-center.org/uploads/download/boc15e.pdf (1997)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 71.59 (Kultursoziologie: Sonstiges), 89.75 (Internationale Konflikte: Allgemeines), 89.76 (Friedensforschung, Konfliktforschung)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

The Intercultural Mediation Project was a collaborative research project led by the Berghof Center, a German research organization, and included the Conflict and Change Center of the University of Minnesota and the University of Paris, Dauphine. To study this question of intercultural mediation the three partners brought together ten mediators from each county to a series of three research seminars. The second seminar at Bléré, France, with which this research paper is concerned, was in part designed to answer the question Does national culture have an impact on the perception of strategy use for conflict management? To answer that question, three more specific questions were developed. Do patterns of conflict management exist within the three national cultures represented? If yes, what are those patterns? What if any effect did the process of the eight day seminar experience have on the participants perceptions of the use of conflict strategies? To answer these three questions, an adapted version of the Thomas-Kilmann MODE instrument was used. The purpose of the questionnaire was to analyze respondent’s perceptions of the use of five strategies of conflict: accommodating, avoiding, competing, compromising, and co-promoting in the three national cultures. A statistical analysis was undertaken to determine where significant differences existed regarding the perceptions of use held by the group as a whole and the three national sub-groups. The statistical analysis indicated that significant differences did exist for several variables. These significant differences demonstrated potential patterns identified from the pre- to post-test with respect to the perceptions of use of the competing, co-promoting, and avoiding strategies among people in the three national cultures. In addition, a significant change was demonstrated in the results of the pre/post comparison for the competing and accommodating strategies. With 2 respect to the competing strategy, the perception of use associated with the national cultures significantly decreased over the course of the seminar. As for the accommodating strategy, perceptions significantly increased over the eight days at Bléré. These results lead to several implications regarding intercultural mediation. First is the need for awareness that potential cultural differences do exist in the perceptions of handling conflict. Second, as a result of potential differences of perceptions, the need for flexibility with respect to controlling the process of communication is needed so as to have the ability to work towards reaching solutions with the greatest degree of satisfaction. Third, the results of this seminar warrant comparison to the first and third seminars where stronger conclusions about the use of specific conflict strategies between national cultures could be more appropriately made. To strengthen those conclusions, future research should conduct a separate study of this adapted version of the Thomas-Kilmann MODE instrument to determine its reliability and validity. Fourth, using the process of the seminar as a substitute for the process of mediation, the degree of flexibility shown by the participants with respect to their perception of people within the three national cultures’ concern for their own self interests and that of the other, shows promise for the use of mediation as one possible arena for dealing with intercultural conflict.


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