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.

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The Heat of the Moment

PON Staff   •  07/09/2012   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Imagine that after ample preparation and weeks of negotiations with three potential vendors, you have to choose among their proposals, each of which has numerous strengths and weaknesses. What’s more, you have only five minutes left to make this tough decision.

How should you spend this precious time? Ap Dijksterhuis and other researchers at the University … Read The Heat of the Moment

When Umbrella Agreements Spring Leaks in Dispute Resolution

PON Staff   •  07/05/2012   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to nail down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility to deal with ever-changing business conditions.

One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft umbrella, or framework, agreements. (The term umbrella is more commonly … Learn More About This Program

Taking ADR Too Far

PON Staff   •  06/01/2012   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

More and more companies are inserting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clauses in their contracts with customers and vendors, and even in agreements with their own employees. ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration can be beneficial for all concerned if they help avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of going to court. Mediation, in particular, … Read Taking ADR Too Far

Predicting Your Response to Conflict

PON Staff   •  04/27/2012   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Imagine an upcoming negotiation. How will you respond if your opponent seems bent on provoking an argument? If you’re like most people, you’ll have difficulty predicting your precise response. Professor Dan Gilbert of Harvard University found that when asked how a positive or negative event will affect your happiness, people accurately predict the direction of … Read Predicting Your Response to Conflict

Are We in Competition?

PON Staff   •  04/26/2012   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Ford vs. GM. Coke vs. Pepsi. Oxford vs. Cambridge. These famous rivalries remind us that the top two achievers in a given realm often compete fiercely with each other.

Now Stephen M. Garcia and Richard Gonzalez of the University of Michigan and Avishalom Tor of the University of Haifa have produced a useful series of studies … Read Are We in Competition?

Hurry Up and Wait

PON Staff   •  04/25/2012   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Suppose that one bargainer is impatient, gritting her teeth and thinking, “Cut to the chase, for Pete’s sake!” Feeling pressured, the other person wants to say, “Easy on the coffee, pal! Let’s give this the time it deserves.”

According to a recent study by professor Karen J. Jansen of Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of … Read Hurry Up and Wait

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