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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When deals fall apart

PON Staff   •  05/31/2020   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Children's Classroom

For investors and employees of office-space company WeWork, the April 1 news was no joke: Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, WeWork’s dominant shareholder, was reneging on an agreement to buy $3 billion of the company’s stock from them. A longtime financial backer of WeWork, SoftBank had agreed to the purchase as part of a bailout of the … Read When deals fall apart 

Why Nonaggression Pacts Often Fail

PON Staff   •  03/31/2020   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

On December 12, 2018, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren had Vermont senator Bernie Sanders over to her house for a meeting, New York magazine reports. There, they each admitted what was already apparent: They were running for president. Friends as well as colleagues, Sanders and Warren agreed to try to protect the progressive movement by not attacking each … Read Why Nonaggression Pacts Often Fail 

Contract Dispute Resolution: Surviving Costly Conflict

Katie Shonk   •  05/20/2019   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

contract dispute resolution

We tend to enter new business partnerships and ventures with a great deal of optimism and excitement. Yet ventures that held so much promise often end up dissolving into costly legal disputes and contract dispute resolution efforts.

Formal contracts offer a method for reducing the risks of new partnerships and clarifying commitment in negotiation, but negotiators … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation in the News: How a toxic culture led to a costly legal battle for CBS

PON Staff   •  04/30/2019   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

If time pressure has ever led you to accept proposals from a counterpart without negotiating them, a story coming out of the #MeToo movement may keep you from ever doing so again.

In July 2018, the New Yorker published an article by Ronan Farrow in which six women accused Les Moonves, the longtime chief executive of … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation Update: At Last, Illinois Lawmakers Agree on a Budget

PON Staff   •  08/31/2018   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

In negotiation, impasse isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If parties conclude they can’t get what they want from each other, it’s in their interest to walk away and seek out other negotiating partners.

But in negotiations in which parties have only each other to deal with, impasse can be not only inefficient but also nonsensical. That … Learn More About This Program 

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