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.

Got a raw deal? Renegotiate a better one

PON Staff   •  08/15/2013   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

Many viewed the deal to be a terrible one from the start. In December 2008, Richard M. Daley, then Chicago’s mayor, announced that his administration had agreed to lease the city’s parking meters for 75 years to a private company for nearly $1.2 billion in an attempt to tackle a budget shortfall of about $500 … Read More 

What If You Have to Arbitrate?

PON Staff   •  07/01/2013   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution

The likelihood that a provision for final-offer arbitration in the event of impasse will actually result in arbitration is slim. However, as a precaution, you and your counterpart should agree on an arbitrator before you start negotiating. It’s easier to choose an arbitrator when both sides view arbitration as an unlikely event when arbitration is … Read More 

HNLR Symposium Review: “Ideas and Impact: Roger Fisher’s Legacy”

PON Staff   •  05/14/2013   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution, Events, Videos

On March 2, 2013, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review held their 2013 Symposium, entitled “Ideas and Impact: Roger Fisher’s Legacy.” This event celebrated Professor Fisher, co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project and the Program on Negotiation. Professor Fisher passed away last summer.

During the day-long event, distinguished panelists explored current trends and opportunities for aspiring scholars … Read More 

Harvard Negotiation Law Review Symposium Will Honor Roger Fisher

PON Staff   •  02/15/2013   •  Filed in Dispute Resolution, Negotiation Skills

The Harvard Negotiation Law Review’s 2013 Symposium, entitled, “Ideas and Impact: Roger Fisher’s Legacy,” will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Harvard Law School in Austin North from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   The full-day event will explore the contributions of the late Roger Fisher, co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project and … Read More