Dispute Resolution

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.

Discover how to improve your dispute resolution skills in this free report, Dispute Resolution, Working Together Toward Conflict Resolution on the Job and at Home, from Harvard Law School.

Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Tactics for Getting What You Want at the Negotiation Table: Patience is a Winning Negotiation Skill

PON Staff   •  09/28/2015   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

On April 9, the hearts of internet entrepreneurs everywhere must have skipped a beat at the news that Facebook was paying $1 billion in cash and stock to buy Instagram, a San Francisco-based start-up.

Less than two years old, Instagram offers mobile apps that allow users to add effects to their smartphone photos and share them … Read More 

Examples of Difficult Situations at Work – Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

PON Staff   •  09/21/2015   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Learning how to overcome emotions in negotiation can help you create better agreements and claim more value in your negotiation scenarios. Examples of difficult situations at work are used to illustrate the negotiation skills you can incorporate into your negotiation strategies when you learn how emotional triggers impact your decision making ability. … Read More 

Difficult Situation Examples: The Hostage Negotiator’s Drill

PON Staff   •  08/31/2015   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Here are some negotiating skills and negotiation techniques from the world of crisis negotiations: Hostage negotiators stress the importance of discussing the “drill”—goals, ground rules, and operating principles—with their team before beginning talks with a hostage taker.

Such negotiation teams are likely to commit to working together as slowly as needed to resolve a standoff. This type of agreement can … Read More 

Conflict Negotiation Strategies: Apple’s Apology in China

Katie Shonk   •  08/17/2015   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

In China this April, Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook made the unusual move of apologizing to Chinese customers for his company’s warranty policy and promised to make amends, the New York Times reports.

On March 15, International Consumers’ Day in China, the nation’s largest state-run television network criticized Apple for giving iPhone customers in China a … Read More 

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Corporate Stakeholder Engagement and Mineral Extraction in Colombia

Lawrence Susskind   •  07/27/2015   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

I want to make four simple points regarding corporate stakeholder engagement and mineral extraction in Colombia. I presented these ideas several weeks ago at a Harvard Law School seminar sponsored by the Colombian government. We had senior officials present along with a great many Colombian graduate students studying at Boston-area schools. I think these prescriptions … Read More 

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