Decision making process of mediation groups: the case of dispute settlement committees in Iran
Hosainy, Hadi Mohammed (2005) Decision making process of mediation groups: the case of dispute settlement committees in Iran. [Thesis]
Starting with May 2004 seven Dispute Settlement Committees (DSCs) were established in different cities of Iran in order to settle disputes among the Afghan refugees or between the Afghan refugees and Iranian nationals. These committees emerged out of a joint initiative of three parties: the governments of Afghanistan and Iran, and an international organization, the United Nations High Commissionaire for Refugees (UNHCR). This thesis is the first descriptive and analytical study about the activities of this joint initiative. For this thesis a field study was done, focusing on one DSC based in Maslihad. Khorasan Province. The field study was made up of participant observations in the DSC sessions and interviews with the DSC members. The thesis, first, compares the mediation techniques used in the DSC and those used in the Western community mediation. Secondly, using the models of group decision making provided by Hermann et al (2001), the thesis analyzes the dynamics of the group decision making process in the. DSC. One of the main findings of this thesis in this regard is noticing DSC members' lack of motivation and interest both in actively participating in the decision making process and also in shaping the outcome of this process. The thesis suggests1 a modification in the Hermann et al's model by including the factor of motivation as an additional key contingency in group decision making processes. It suggests that the factor of motivation is very important for the quality of final outcome of the group decision making process. Finally, in order to be tested in further studies, the thesis suggests some policy suggestions for the better functioning of the DSC.
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