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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Negotiation in the news: In a skirmish over scallops, it’s the French versus the British

PON Staff   •  10/31/2018   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

When parties are fighting for scarce resources, disputes can become intense. Negotiation is often the answer, but agreements may need to be continually revisited to keep the peace. That’s the main takeaway from the dispute that erupted in the English Channel between French and British fishermen this August.
Stormy waters
In Europe, the European Union sets fishing … Read More 

Successes & Messes: Broadening their views, rival telescope projects team up

PON Staff   •  07/31/2018   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

We might expect the masterminds behind giant telescopes to be better than most at seeing the big picture. But it was only recently that the leaders of two planned mega-telescopes recognized that they could move their stalled projects ahead by teaming up rather than competing.
Caught in the crosshairs
Back in 2002, the leadership of the California … Read More 

The “Door in the Face” Technique: Will It Backfire?

PON Staff   •  04/30/2018   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

In a classic and rather amusing study from 1975, Arizona State University professor Robert Cialdini and his colleagues sent research assistants around campus posing as employees of the county’s juvenile detention center. They stopped people randomly on walkways and asked them if they would consider chaperoning a group of juvenile delinquents on a day trip … Read More 

What is Dispute Resolution in Law: The Ins and Outs of Arbitration

PON Staff   •  04/24/2018   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

what is dispute resolution

A “one-shot” form of dispute resolution, arbitration is usually faster and cheaper than litigation. In addition, rather than being assigned a judge, parties are able to select their arbitrator.

What is dispute resolution in law and how do alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like arbitration operate inside and outside a courtroom? Here are some examples of … Read More 

Negotiation in the News: Making group decisions when values are at stake

PON Staff   •  11/30/2017   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

In the business world, standing up for one’s values can be difficult, as matters of conscience and conviction can sometimes be at odds with financial and public relations considerations. When a group of leaders needs to negotiate a shared public position on its values, the task becomes even harder. Various leadership coalitions have faced this … Read More 

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