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: 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 

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 … Learn More About This Program 

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 … Learn More About This Program 

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 … Learn More About This Program 

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

Lawrence Susskind   •  03/16/2017   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Corporations around the world are being pressed by their shareholders to do a better job of taking local concerns into account when they initiate mineral extraction projects. Indeed, both stakeholders and risk managers are demanding this. Many companies are now systematically assessing the concerns of a wide range of stakeholders and seeking to demonstrate (in … Learn More About This Program 

Dispute Resolution: Uncertainty, Risk, and Opportunity in Water Diplomacy

Lawrence Susskind   •  02/09/2017   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

dispute resolution define negotiation skills what leads to renegotiation

When countries face contending water claims, one of the biggest obstacles to reaching an agreement is uncertainty. Specifically, there are three types of uncertainty: uncertainty of information, uncertainty of action, and uncertainty of perception. In part 2 of this 5 part series, Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind explains the uncertainties facing negotiators trying … Learn More About This Program 

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