Mediation Research Seminar

In January 2015 over 80 delegates attended this Seminar which was hosted by the Kennedy Institute at Maynooth University. Delegates included mediation practitioners, consultants, trade union representatives, business representatives, academics and students, all of whom had an interest in the idea of research informing mediation practice.

Our objective for the Seminar was to demonstrate how the Group is striving to shape the future of workplace mediation in Ireland though a co-operative enquiry approach to research. One of the features of co-operative enquiry is that research is conducted ‘with’ practicing mediators rather than ‘on’ practicing mediators. Mediation practitioners are involved in setting the research agenda, conducting/facilitating/supporting the research, and applying the findings to their own practice.

The Research Group adopts an egalitarian structure to form a learning community, based on the principles of pluralism and inclusiveness, with members co-constructing knowledge which can then be applied to practice. It is a mutually reinforcing positive cycle of practice informing theory and theory informing practice.

In keeping with our Co-operative enquiry approach, Seminar delegates were asked, in focus groups, to identify the issues they felt needed priority. This process generated a comprehensive set of issues and questions that pertain to workplace mediation in Ireland. The outcomes of this Seminar continue to inform the research strategy of the Kennedy Institute Group. We are currently planning the 2016 follow-up event. Watch this space!