This paper will chart the evolution of the Kennedy Institute Workplace Mediation Research Group (www.kiwmrg.ie). The raison d’ętre of this Group is to bridge the gap between workplace mediation research and practice in Ireland, and a case will be made as to why this is considered important. Constituted as a ‘Community of Practice’, the Group adopts an unconventional approach to research that, the authors will argue, is uniquely suited to its purpose. Before using a specific research project as a means to illustrate the modus operandus of the Group, the paper will present the theoretical and institutional context for workplace mediation in Ireland.
The key contribution of this paper is to describe how KIWMRG is developing to deliver ethically sound, collaborative research that will set the future of workplace mediation in Ireland on a firm theoretical base. We argue that this approach is ideally suited to shaping the future of mediation training, practice and standards.