I came across this article whle looking up mediation news in Australia and thought some would find it interesting. See my comments below:
A study by Griffith University into franchise conflict has revealed the need for better communication between franchisors and their franchisees.
The study, which was funded by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Research Council, examined the relationship between franchisees and franchisors and the causes of conflict between the two groups. 350 franchisees from Australia responded.
..."Thirty one per cent of the franchisees indicated that communication within their franchising relationship was unsatisfactory. Disturbingly, the study also found that 49 per cent of franchisees relied heavily on their gut feeling when deciding to go into franchising.
...The study also indicated that many franchisees were failing to make use of available mediation services to resolve the problems that they had with their franchisor. The Franchising Code of Conduct makes explicit provision for access to cost-effective dispute resolution and mediation procedures, yet only two per cent of franchisees surveyed used mediation to resolve conflict with their franchisor.
Bernie Mayer wrote a fantastic book called Beyond Neutrality and I think this story provides a great example of how mediators and other conflict resolution professionals can move beyond the neutral role to help people involved in conflict.
The mediation field is is not the easiest field to make a living off of, and jeez, there can only be so many trainers offering 'certification'!
Dispute system design, as mentioned above which incoportates mediation (at least on paper) opens non-neutral opportunities for professionals in conflict resolution. Further review and exploration how communication, or lack of it between the parties, could allow the a designer help alleviate concerns of all those involved while still serving a particular client.
If communication is such an issue and only 2% of the people are using mediation services, surely there is room for growth- right?
Read the full article [here].