In this FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School,  Dispute Resolution, Working Together Toward Conflict Resolution on the Job and at Home, the editors of Negotiation Briefings cull valuable negotiation strategies and curate popular content to provide you with a concise guide on how to improve your dispute resolution skills.


dispute system design

What is Dispute System Design?

In order to be truly effective, dispute system design must be thoroughly thought out and carefully constructed.

Dispute system design (DSD) is the process of identifying, designing, employing, and evaluating an effective means of resolving conflicts within an organization. 

As business becomes more global and complex, we may be faced with such difficulties as costly labor unrest and high turnover, distribution of responsibilities, or verbally abusive supervisors. Dispute system design is one way to address such human-resources problems. 

Dispute system design is typically grounded in conflict-solving strategies such as interest-based negotiation, in which parties share the interests that underlie their grievances and try to jointly negotiate a solution that satisfies all parties.

One of the main goals of dispute system design should be to support low-cost, less invasive approaches to managing workplace conflict before moving on to more costly, riskier approaches. For example, an organization might encourage or require employees in conflict to engage in mediation before moving on to an arbitration hearing. 

It also requires shared appreciation of the dynamic quality of relationships: how “what I say affects what you think, which affects what you say and then what I think next, and so on.” Without that kind of insight, each teammate will feel blameless for the problems that plague the group.

Setting up a dispute system can be a complex process, but it will almost inevitably promote a more efficient means of managing workplace conflict than a case-by-case approach.

In this free special report – Negotiate Strong Relationships at Work and at Home – negotiation experts offer advice on understanding how relationships can help you negotiate even the most difficult conversations. Throughout the report, you will discover how to build rapport, manage conflict in long-term relationships, and negotiate business decisions with colleagues or family members.

We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new advice and information on how to improve your business negotiation skills to our website.

The following items are tagged dispute system design:

What is Dispute System Design?

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Dispute System Design (DSD) is the process of identifying, designing, employing, and evaluating an effective means of resolving conflicts within an organization. In order to be effective, dispute systems must be thoroughly thought out and carefully constructed. … Read More 

Business Conflict Management

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In the business world, workplace disputes are all too common. Consider these real-life conflict scenarios: a group of employees who, working overtime to make up for staff shortages, complain to their manager that they aren’t getting paid enough for the extra time. A colleague confides about his boss’s verbal abuse. Two employees argue openly about … Read More 

How to Manage Conflict at Work

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Sooner or later, almost all of us will find ourselves trying to cope with how to manage conflict at work. At the office, we may struggle to work through high-pressure situations with people with whom we have little in common. We need a special set of strategies to calm tempers, restore order, and meet each … Read More 

Handling Employee Relations

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Suppose you have been recently hired as the first full time staff member charged with handling employee relations. You are entering a large accounting firm with an unusually high staff turnover rate and several recent defections by company accounts. Dispute System Design (DSD) is the process of identifying, designing, employing, and evaluating an effective means of … Read More