Case Studies: Ten Great Conflict Resolutions

Effective negotiating skills and negotiation tactics for use in conflict management

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top ten conflict resolution posts

Conflict 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. Conflict resolution sometimes requires both a power-based and an interest-based approach, such as the simultaneous pursuit of litigation (the use of legal power) and negotiation (attempts to reconcile each party’s interests). There are a number of powerful strategies for conflict resolution, as you’ll see in our list below of ten popular conflict resolutions:

1. A Cross Cultural Negotiation Example: How to Overcome Cultural Barriers

Understanding cultural norms, while avoiding stereotyping, is a key negotiation skill for all international negotiators. Negotiation research reveals that dealmaking across cultures tends to result in worse negotiated agreements than those where negotiators share a cultural background. Here are some negotiating skills and negotiation techniques you can use to avoid cognitive biases at the bargaining table and maximize your value creation opportunities with international counterparts.

2. These Examples Illustrate the Importance of Negotiation in Business

Here are some of the most newsworthy business and commercial disputes of 2013 – a year that saw hardball tactics backfire, costly legal battles waged, and negotiated agreements ripped to shreds. Apple versus Samsung. Robin Thicke versus Marvin Gaye. The end of the NHL lockout. 2013 was a year filled with negotiation case studies and here is the Program on Negotiation’s top 10.


In our FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School – The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation – renowned negotiation experts uncover unconventional approaches to conflict management that can turn adversaries into partners.


3. MESO, Negotiation, and Dealing with Difficult People: Make Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers to Create Value in Dealmaking

Learn how multiple equivalent simultaneous offers (MESOs) in negotiation offer business negotiators and conflict management professionals multiple avenues for value creation and dispute resolution. Not only are MESOs effective negotiation strategies, but they also can help resolve seemingly intractable disputes by helping one side or the other reach the zone of possible agreement (ZOPA).

4. A Case Study of Conflict Management: Family Conflict Resolution Lessons from the Home

One of the most common forms of conflict many of us will face is the inevitable dispute with a family member or loved one. What negotiation techniques are best applied to disputes within the family? Drawing on Bruce Feiler’s Lessons in Domestic Diplomacy, this article offers negotiation skills tips for people seeking to resolve conflict inside the home.

5. Negotiation Examples in Real Life: Negotiating with Your Children

While the negotiation strategies you employ to resolve conflicts with your spouse, brother, or uncle may work wonders in those situations, are they also applicable to children? In this article drawn from negotiation research, Scott Brown’s book How to Negotiate with Kids…Even When You Think You Shouldn’t offers practical negotiation advice for parents dealing with difficult children.

6. Integrative Negotiation Examples: Dispute Resolution Through Joint Fact-Finding

Cooperation in joint fact-finding expeditions can help disputants reach agreement by forcing them to look outside one another’s own limited expertise or experience and rely on that of a neutral third party. Lawrence Susskind’s The Consensus Building Handbook describes joint fact-finding as a multi-step collaborative process designed to help disputants reach agreement.

7. Negotiating the Good Friday Agreement

U.S. Senator George Mitchell’s role in the Good Friday Agreement was pivotal in helping each side reach a negotiated agreement in one of the world’s longest running conflicts. In his interview with Program on Negotiation Managing Director Susan Hackley, George Mitchell describes the negotiating skills and negotiation techniques he employed, namely the “Mitchell Principles,” commitments to open communication, non-violence, and democracy, to bring each side to a negotiated agreement.

8. Negotiation Games for Conflict Resolution

This article examines the risks disputants take in escalating their conflict to the legal system – namely, that pure chance, rather than the merits of the case, could decide the outcome of the conflict.

9. Maintaining Your Power in Conflict Resolution

Here are four negotiation tips for maintaining power and status in negotiation scenarios. While power and prestige may be important factors for the individual negotiator, they may not be important to the negotiation at hand; conversely, high levels of differing status among negotiators may make viable negotiated agreements difficult and value creating agreements impossible.

10. The Role of Urban Planners in Negotiations: Case Study of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

In an event held at the Harvard Law School campus, urban planner Karen Lee Bar-Sinai discussed the role of urban development in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Bar-Sinai noted in her discussion that political boundaries and cultural boundaries between peoples often manifest themselves in physical boundaries.

Related Conflict Resolution Article:  Integrative Negotiation Examples and Noncompete Agreements: Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Techniques for Conflict Resolution


In our FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School – The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation – renowned negotiation experts uncover unconventional approaches to conflict management that can turn adversaries into partners.


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