Electronic mediation

Daniel Druckman, Sabine T. Koeszegi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, electronic mediation has proliferated as a dispute resolution method (Turel et al., 2007), predominantly in the context of online dispute resolution (ODR) for settling e-business conflicts (Ebner, 2012; Betancourt & Zlatanska, 2013). ODR tools are designed for resolving disputes-at-a-distance with high-volume caseloads and are discussed by Rainey and Tidwell in this volume. There is also a long tradition in research on electronic negotiation support in which the concepts of e-meditation, electronically supported mediation, or e-negotiation emerged. In this context, e-mediation refers to the use of web-based support systems to facilitate conflict resolution and negotiation processes not only restricted to e-business, but also including such areas as family mediation, labor negotiations, peace negotiations, and environmental conflicts. These support systems are discussed in this chapter. Advances made in electronic negotiation or mediation suggest that a number of benefits have been realized from these systems for the practice of mediation and related forms of third-party intervention. These benefits include, but are not limited to, speeding online monitoring of developments in negotiation, facilitating the analysis of sources of impasses, making connections between analysis and advice to negotiators, and providing a vehicle for delivering the advice. The variety of web-based support systems is considerable, but only a few of them address the key functions of mediation, which include diagnosis, analysis, and advice. The aim of this chapter is twofold. One is to connect the various strands of online systems by constructing a framework with examples of application. Another is to focus on web supported expert systems that serve as mediators who intervene when impasses occur. Two expert mediator systems are highlighted, Negotiator Assistant and its successor Vienna Negotiator Assistant. These systems are discussed in terms of the functions they serve and the research conducted to evaluate their impacts on negotiation processes (flexibility) and outcomes (distributive and integrative). The chapter concludes with a discussion of remaining research challenges and implications for practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe mediation handbook
Subtitle of host publicationresearch, theory, and practice
EditorsAlexia Georgakopoulos
Place of PublicationNew York ; London
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315648330
ISBN (Print)9781138124202, 9781138124219
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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