This paper seeks to argue that mediation has been hitherto conceived in the construction industry, and indeed by practitioners in other related disciplines such as property management, as largely a “problem-solving” mechanism. Whilst this is clearly an aim of mediation there is also the appended danger that the value of mediation is conceived in these terms alone. If this is the case, then its value, or success, is conceived very narrowly. The aim of this paper is, then, to argue that there are wider values to mediation in a construction setting. These values can be considered as a “family” of related attitudes, skills and perceptions that can positively affect the persons involved. By affecting growth in individuals an organisational change may follow. This, in turn, can result in a significant cultural change in the industry, and associated professions as a whole, as well as having a positive impact on construction education. The paper begins by an overview of the development of mediation and proceeds to consider its current use of mediation in construction. It then considers the question of how mediation success is conceived. The paper argues that both the current practice of construction mediation and the way in which its success is measured are too narrow. It argues that a wider approach to construction mediation is required. Finally, drawing from the literature on “idealist” mediation an account of mediation as a developmental process is developed.
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