The trusted mediator: developing an ethical framework for the professionalisation of commercial mediation.

Grossman, Andrzej (2002) The trusted mediator: developing an ethical framework for the professionalisation of commercial mediation. DProf thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This paper is written from the Standpoint of a participant observer and forms an exploratory case study examining the ethical dimension of commercial mediation in the context of its professionalisation. It brings together a series of papers written between April 2001 and June 2002. They are presented here in a revised form and different order as chapters oscillating between the changing context of commercial mediation and a discussion of particular sociological and ethical concepts. The paper attempts to identify the theoretical territory of the study of professions and professionalisation and the ethical perspectives and moral categories which describe the territory. It addresses the problems encountered in attempts to develop an abstract theory of professions which has generally been polarised between attribute and processual approaches. Issues which emerge include conflicts of professional roles arising from different understandings of what a profession is for, the duty of a profession to serve the public good, the legitimacy of professional authority and the accountability of Professionals. These issues are often expressed as a tension between the ideal of autonomy of a profession and consumer demand for accountability; a tension between the principles of service on which a profession is said to be ethically based and an ethics of responsibility demanded by the market. At the same time, the economic context in which professions emerge and develop gives rise to ethical considerations about the effects of the dominant economic System and the function of trust as an element of social capital. The approach in this paper is to take professionalisation as a dynamic and historical concept which involves both an ideological and ethical strategy in the development of an occupational group. It suggests that ethical perception in Professionals could develop more practically by freeing the conceptualisation of professions from making distinctions in ethical roles between professions and business based on the oppositions of shared and self interest. The relevant emphasis rests not in what Professionals do and how long they take to learn to do it but who Professionals are as persons; that is, the difference between being a professional and being professional. But clearly professional work does not lie in just 'being'. The degree to which a professional is required in commercial mediation is one that the concept of the trusted mediator must account for. Using this concept to develop an ethical framework, the paper finally discusses policy implications regarding the professionalisation of commercial mediation.

Item Type:Thesis (DProf)
Additional Information:

A project submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Professional Studies.

Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > Institute for Work Based Learning
Masters and Doctorates > Theses
ID Code:6471
Deposited On:07 Sep 2010 12:04
Last Modified:23 Jul 2014 19:34

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