A critical review of the role of bias in workplace mediations dealing with bullying and harassment

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Elis Regina da Silva dos Santos
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Conflicts are inevitable and part of everyday life, as are conflicts in work environments; what sets us apart are the ways of dealing with them. Specifically, conflicts of bullying and harassment in the workplace can negatively affect both companies and employees. The human resources department, which deals with the company's human capital, can be a great ally in the resolution and prevention, using mediation techniques and tools to facilitate these internal conflicts. This study aims to critically review the role of bias in mediation, focusing on bullying and harassment conflicts. To achieve the objective, a survey was carried out to analyse the opinions and experiences regarding this issue with human resources professionals and mediators regarding conflicts in the workplace and bias. A questionnaire was created through the Google Forms website with seventeen questions, closed and open, to collect meaningful data for the research. Moreover, an interview was conducted through the Zoom videoconferencing platform. The study applied qualitative and quantitative methods and descriptive techniques and an inductive cross-sectional approach. Through data analysis, it was observed that mediation is a valid path as an alternative to disputes. However, mediation is also considered part of a whole process in bullying and harassment conflicts and not just the only strategy. Furthermore, professionals are aware of their biases. Concluding that conflicts in workplaces related to bullying and harassment and human resources professionals performing internal mediations is not the best approach and should be considered external mediators to ensure non-bias.
da Silva dos Santos, 2021