Dispute resolution generally refers to one of several different processes used to resolve disputes between parties, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and litigation. Dispute resolution is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side’s needs and addressing their interests. Dispute resolution strategies include fostering a rapport, considering interests and values separately, appealing to overarching values, and indirect confrontation.
Conflict resolution, to use another common term, is a relatively new field, emerging after World War II. Scholars from the Program on Negotiation were leaders in establishing the field.
Mediation can be effective at allowing parties to vent their feelings and fully explore their grievances. Working with parties together and sometimes separately, mediators try to help them hammer out a resolution that is sustainable, voluntary, and nonbinding. In arbitration, the arbitrator listens as each side argues its case and presents relevant evidence, then renders a binding decision. Litigation typically involves a defendant facing off against a plaintiff before either a judge or a judge and jury. The judge or jury is responsible for weighing the evidence and making a ruling. Information conveyed in hearings and trials usually enters the public record.
There are many aspects of disputes, including value creation opportunities, agency issues, organizational influences, ethical considerations, the role of law, and decision tools.
Articles offer numerous examples of dispute resolution and explore various aspects of it, including international conflict resolution, how it can be useful in your personal life, skills needed to achieve it, and training that hones those skills.
When dealing with a difficult counterpart, it helps to take a conciliatory approach to the bargaining table. While apologies necessarily involve moments of vulnerability, they can also open doors to value creation and strengthen the relationship you have with your bargaining counterpart. Let’s look back at Apple’s apology in China for its maligned warranty policies … Read More
How can dispute resolution skills in negotiation help manage internal conflicts within an organization? This article draws from negotiation research to present some bargaining tips on how you can insure satisfaction within and outside of an organization. … Read More
Here are 15 things about dispute resolution in environmental negotiations that Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind published on his website, Consensus Building Approach. … Read More
Here are a few examples of difficult situations at work and some negotiation skills for dealing with difficult people we encounter in every area of life. First, negotiators should ask themselves: Why do some people get under our skin? … Read More
How does the desire to negotiate stack up against other workplace decision-making procedures? Negotiation seems to be the preferred decision-making mechanism when employees are seeking individually tailored solutions. … Read More
When a conflict looms, it can be tempting for each side to try to make unilateral decisions on key issues because of the belief that negotiations with the other side will be a dead end. This dispute resolution strategy may pay off in the short term, but it’s important to factor in the long-term costs … Read More
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Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. This discussion was held at the 3 day executive education workshop for senior executives at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Guhan Subramanian is the Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School.