Skill is not enough: seeking connectedness and authority in mediation

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Honeyman, C, Goh, BC & Kelly, L 2004, 'Skill is not enough: seeking connectedness and authority in mediation', Negotiation Journal, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 489-511.

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Coauthor Christopher Honeyman was struck by the flagging "marketability" of mainstream professionally trained mediators in the US. More and more parties were choosing retired judges and other practitioners who were not classically trained mediators to help them resolve their disputes. Searching for an explanation of this phenomenon, Honeyman found a possible answer in Melbourne, Australia, where he listened with a Western ear to the presentations of coauthors Loretta Kelly and Bee Chen Goh about the importance of connectedness and individual perceptions of authority to the parties in the mediation of Indigenous disputes. In this article, the authors present case histories from Australia and Malaysia to illustrate these concepts. They contend the same concepts are behind the shifting of the market for mediation in the United States.

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