Intravention: Third-party intervention with clout

Donald E. Conlon*, Peter J. Carnevale, J. Keith Murnighan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This study examined the dispute-resolution behavior of the “intravenor,” a distinct third-party role in organizational dispute resolution. Unlike a mediator, whose involvement in the dispute is at the whim of the disputants, the intravenor can control the outcome of the dispute. Unlike an arbitrator, who is compelled to dictate the outcome of the dispute, the intravenor may or may not impose an outcome. The experiment reported here examined the impact of four variables on third party behavior: The third party′s role (intravenor versus mediator), the third party′s beliefs about the disputants reaching agreement (cooperative versus uncooperative disputants), the third party′s self-interest in the outcome, and the third party′s concern about the disputants′ outcome (interest in the disputant′s mutual welfare). The results suggest that intravention spawns a distinctive pattern of third-party behavior: Intravenors imposed outcomes in 66% of the cases, but more when they viewed the disputants as uncooperative than cooperative. Only 44% of the imposed outcomes reflected the disputants′ underlying interests, but this was greater when the intravenor had high compared to low concern for the disputants′ aspirations. Intravenors were more likely than mediators to use forceful, pressure tactics, and were more confident and saw themselves as more influential. Taken together, the results provide the basis for an integrated model of third-party intervention in organizational dispute resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-410
Number of pages24
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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