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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To Avoid the Need for Dispute Resolution, Plan Ahead

Katie Shonk   •  12/16/2014   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

When disputes flare up in business relationships, a failure to thoroughly anticipate and prepare for the future is often to blame. Consider a dispute that has arisen surrounding the estate of Maurice Sendak, the acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator of dozens of books, including the masterpiece Where the Wild Things Are. As Randy Kennedy … Learn More About This Program

Chain reactions: How observers escalate conflict

PON Staff   •  11/15/2014   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

The United States and the USSR. The nationalists and the unionists in Ireland. Israel and Palestine. History is rife with stories of conflict that grew progressively more heated and destructive over the course of generations.

Such conflicts can escalate and spread because the parties involved show favoritism toward members of their own group at the expense … Read Chain reactions: How observers escalate conflict

Lawyers in Mediation and the Mediation Process

PON Staff   •  09/12/2014   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

How does the presence of lawyers affect the process of mediation? You might guess that when one or both sides bring an attorney to a mediation, the process would become more contentious and adversarial, with impasse more likely, than if the parties worked solely with a mediator. That conventional wisdom is contradicted by new research … Read Lawyers in Mediation and the Mediation Process

In Dispute Resolution, A Tale of Two Arthurs

Katie Shonk   •  08/12/2014   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

In the business world, long-term loyalty to a CEO is supposed to be a good thing. For New England supermarket chain Market Basket, however, employees’ reverent appreciation for their former chief and co-owner, Arthur T. Demoulas, has proved to be destructive to the business in the short term, causing employee and customer protests as well … Read In Dispute Resolution, A Tale of Two Arthurs

The Paradox of Positions

PON Staff   •  05/23/2014   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

It’s not difficult for negotiators haggling over seemingly finite resources to become entrenched in their positions. Sometimes the only way to get unstuck is to think appreciatively and creatively about the other side. Rather than trying to determine why a person has taken a particular position, consider what she wants, appreciate it, and try to … Read The Paradox of Positions

For Detroit Pensioners, Dispute Resolution Pays Off

PON Staff   •  05/06/2014   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

On April 15, Detroit city employees and retirees breathed a huge sigh of relief after the city’s emergency manager and its pension fund managers reached a deal that would significantly reduce proposed cuts to pension benefits, CNNMoney reports. Some civilian workers will face a 4.5% reduction in pensions and lose cost-of-living adjustments. Retired public-safety workers … Learn More About This Program

Islam, Sharia and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mechanisms for Legal Redress in the Muslim Community

PON Staff   •  03/05/2014   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution, Events

Dr. Mohamed M. Keshavjee will discuss his new book, Islam, Sharia and Alternative Dispute Resolution, which provides an informed and thorough discussion of the relevance of Sharia and its principles that affirm equity, justice and basic human rights, and its interface with the UK’s official judicial system. … Learn More About This Program

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