The promotion of mediation in commercial disputes as a tool to effectively manage human and financial resources in companies based in Ireland

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Arthur da Silva Ribeiro
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This research explores the limitations to the use of mediation in commercial disputes by companies based in Ireland, so as to propose initiatives to overcome these barriers and promote the method among employers and employees in the Irish context. In order to do that, the mediation process, its history, and differences to other alternative dispute resolution methods were described. In addition, it was explained the practice of mediation in commercial disputes, which includes the management of intra and inter-organisational conflicts, which can be done through different mediation approaches. Finally, the opportunities and challenges to foster the use of commercial mediation by companies based in Ireland were explored, covering the topics: awareness, availability of resources, and legislation. The study was based on the interpretivist philosophy, in which an inductive approach was chosen to guide the analysis of qualitative data collected through interviews. A thematic analysis was applied to the data gathered from 12 participants, being them 6 employers and 6 employees from different companies based in Ireland and from several business fields. Based on the analysis of the data, it was concluded that the main obstacle to the use of mediation in Ireland is the unawareness about the method by employers and employees. Among other reasons that prevent companies from engaging in mediation are misconceptions about the method, and the size of the business, as small-sized companies usually have a more limited availability of human and financial assets. It was found that people are unaware of legislation on mediation, therefore, regulation was not considered as a factor thar influences on companies’ decision of not engaging in the process. Initiatives that can be taken by the Irish government and companies are proposed in the study, so that mediation can be widely used in the country as a tool to effectively manage human and financial resources.
da Silva Ribeiro, 2021