Wednesday, October 15

Dirty Work, Clean Hands

If you are the sort of mediator who only works separate rooms (disclosure; my views on that here at The legal community has learned to accept low-functioning mediation) consider this;

"Mobsters have hit men, CEOs have vice presidents, lawyers, and accountants. More specifically, the powerful are likely to carry out their intentions through the actions of other agents, with varying degrees of explicit direction and control".

Too much in the mediation context? Maybe.

But indulge me; t
his is not required reading by any stretch but if you enjoy reading outside the ADR tram tracks take a look at this working paper published October 9 by Harvard Business School : Dirty Work, Clean Hands—The Moral Psychology of Indirect Agency [full text here]. It describes four studies that explore the effects of such "indirect agency" on moral judgment.

The paper is consistent with my thesis that when mediation parties sit in separate rooms and get another to do their bidding, they are not bound by the normal laws of face-to-face negotiation: extreme positions are easier to take and empathy is lost.

No comments: