Managing the inter-cultural dimensions of a mediation effectively – A proposed pre-mediation intake instrument

Dorcas QUEK ANDERSON, Singapore Management University


Being a culturally responsive mediator has become increasingly challenging amidst the growing cultural complexity within many societies. Drawing on the existing research on culture and the authors’ experiences of mediating disputes amongst diverse disputants in Australia and Singapore, this paper proposes an emic-constructivist approach for the mediator to understand the individual disputant’s unique cultural preferences. It also recommends bringing forward the exercise of understanding cultural preferences through conducting pre-mediation intake interviews. It is argued that this approach enables the mediator to embrace the parties’ cultural complexity and to design the mediation process based on their rich milieu of preferences. Finally, the paper puts forward a framework for the pre-mediation intake instrument.