Third-Party Conflict Resolution Essay

In the negotiation process, the use of third-party conflict resolutions often comes into play when parties cannot seem to reach an agreement regarding resolving mutual interests. These types of third-party conflict resolutions are: arbitration, collaboration, litigation and mediation. For the Seatcor Manufacturing Company, the use of third-party conflict resolution is necessary.

The researchers of Team A have reported collaborative ideas of this case by (1) analyzing the possible intervention strategies, (2) applying what is thought to be the best strategy, (3) explained how the best strategy should resolve the conflict, and (4) developed a contingency plan in case the best strategy does not work, or is rejected.

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Intervention strategies Possible intervention strategies include negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation, collaboration and hybrids.

Two types of hybrid intervention strategies are mediation – arbitration and arbitration-mediation. Negotiation – There are four elements to the negotiation process, which include managing interdependence, engaging in mutual adjustment, creating or claiming value, and managing conflict. Negotiations consist of two or more parties be that individuals, groups, or organizations.

A conflict of needs and desires exist between parties and the parties chose to negotiate. Parties expect a “give and take” process that is fundamental to the definition of negotiation itself. The parties prefer to negotiate a resolution on their own and seek a mutually beneficial outcome.

A successful negotiation includes consideration of the tangibles and intangible aspects of an agreement. Tangible aspects involve the price and terms of a contract, while the intangible consider the feelings of the participants. • Mediation – The objective of mediation is to help the parties develop and endorse the agreement they can live with. Here a third party, the Mediator assists in identifying areas of dispute and searches for compromises in those areas from both sides. Mediation has become a popular low-cost solution to litigation, especially for divorce cases.

Since the Mediator has no formal power, the participants have the greatest say in shaping the terms of the settlement. This of course only works if the parties are open to the process, as most cases are voluntary. • Arbitration – Arbitration allows negotiators to have considerable control over the process but little control over the outcome. Outcomes in arbitration can be voluntary or binding. In voluntary arbitration parties are not required to comply with the arbitrator’s decision, but are by law or contractual agreement in binding decisions.

Some decisions are left almost entirely to the arbitrator’s discretion, while others in “final-offer” arbitration must be selected from previous chosen outcomes presented by the parties. Arbitration is the most widely recognized intervention strategy because of its use in labor relations and professional sports. • Litigation – Parties utilize this strategy when they do not share common goals and interest. Litigation also allows parties to draw the process out as long a possible. This type of strategy may be beneficial when changes over time may be advantageous to a party.

The draw- back is the outcome typically does not concede to any middle ground. Therefore, this strategy is more distributive in nature in that usually only one party gets what they want. • Collaboration – In collaboration, parties seek cooperation and seek solutions advantageous to both parties. This win-win strategy assertively utilizes the fact that both parties have common goals. Parties identify common ground and search for areas of agreement. • Hybrids – Mediation-arbitration is a complementary and facilitating strategy for final-offer arbitration.

Because in mediation the parties expect a compromise, the parties may choose to wait for the arbitration rather than make concessions during mediation. Arbitration-mediation another hybrid approach which has three stages. First, the arbitrator holds a hearing and reaches a decision” which is placed in a sealed envelope and is not revealed to the parties” (Conlon,Moon and Ng, 2002, p. 979). Mediation occurs at Stage 2. If an agreement is not reached, in Stage 3 the arbitration ruling is revealed and is binding on both parties Mediation as the Best Strategy

The best strategy for the third party conflict resolution is mediation. Mediation is a dispute resolution process, in which a neutral third party assists the participants in reaching a voluntary and informed settlement. Mediation and diplomacy have both been used frequently. There are many options available for dispute resolutions. People have a tendency to assume that parties who have a dispute cannot work together to resolve the dispute, and this assumption does both parties a disservice (Hajdin and LeMoncheck, 1997).

Many hostile environment complaints arise as a result of differences in perception about what is humorous or flattering and what is offensive. Some disputes arise as a result of one person’s failure to respect the other or to understand the effect of ones behavior on the other. If the parties are open to communicating with each other, these complaints can be mediated and resolved. By using mediation managers and business owners can potentially save the company’s relationship with other internal and external customers.

Innovative companies, such as Seatcor are investigating management and production systems that emphasize informed participation, decentralized authority and expanded responsibility. Therefore, in this type of dispute resolution, it is important that Joe, as the manager know the laws, policies, and procedures governing Seatcor. This knowledge is required so that Joe could fulfill his responsibilities, protect the organization from costly legal action, and provide a respectful work environment for all. Our next step should be to seek the acceptance of the idea of mediation from Joe and Charles.

Mediation can mend and restore frayed working relationships, even when the parties are very angry at each other. Finally, we should put as much effort as possible into the investigation and resolution of the incident, including supporting Charles, and recommending or implementing mediation that will expose problems and give alternative actions for resolving the dispute. Mediation Resolves Conflict. The use of mediation in a dispute is one of the interventions used to resolve conflicts. The parties will actively participate in this process because of his or her stake in a resolution.

The agreement reached is ultimately between the two parties and is not imposed. However, this does not mean that a mediator is limited to his or her personal opinion about a dispute. Because a mediator is to remain impartial and neutral, the mediator is to separate his or her opinions from the disputants and focus on unbiased ways to help the parties resolve the conflict on their own accord. The mediator is the overseer of the process and his or her job is to assist the parties in various ways such as:

• Opening lines of communication Exploring solutions to the problem or examining the problem from a variety of viewpoints • Educate the unskilled or unprepared negotiators on the bargaining process • Help build a reasonable and implementable settlement • Question and challenge parties who have extreme or unrealistic goals (Purdy, K. , 2001-2009) Mediation is a voluntary process. The parties agree to mediate in good faith. Ethics play a major role in the mediation process. Being honest is a crucial component, as is the full disclosure of the facts of the dispute.

Both parties are asked to keep the information disclosed in the mediation succession confidential. Many mediators will destroy their notes once the process is complete. Mediation requires that each party respect the other. Some mediators are trained as attorneys; however, they are not allowed to give legal advice. As a mediator, one is expected to stabilize the setting by being polite and by displaying that he or she is in control of the situation. This will help the parties feel comfortable.

Each party is given the opportunity to vent his or her concerns about the conflict without expressing emotions of anger, accusations, or frustration. The mediator’s goal is to assist the parties in reaching an agreement should the process become geared toward a stalemate. The final step of the mediator’s goal is to clarify any agreements reach by the parties involved. This should change the party’s attitude toward each other once these settlements are in place. With these measures set in place, mediation should resolve the conflict.

Contingency Plan Mediation has been chosen as the plan of action to resolve this Third-Party Conflict Resolution between Joe and Charles. During Step three and four of the Mediation Process if mediation does not work collaboration would be the contingency plan coming from the Sr. VP of Operations here at Seatcor. He feels that collaboration will help Joe and Charles bring a resolution to their issues. Knowing that Joe is going to retire in a couple of years, The VP of Operations insisted that Joe hire Charles who is very well trained and bright.

The VP of Operations is also aware that Joe’s motive of operation was to hire people who were minimally competent and most lacking managerial skills. However, in order to reach the desired outcome and both disputants experiencing a win-win resolution they will have to learn how to work together to reach Joe’s five year goal for the plant’s proposal to be presented to senior management. Joe especially, would have to take Charles’s position seriously, because as Senior VP of Operations and Chief Operations Officer, Charles was hand picked to replace Joe upon his retirement.

Charles’s ability to take over the reigns from Joe is heavily dependant upon their ability to cooperate, collaborate, and work together. Joe hasn’t been able to build trust in Charles, therefore leading to the conflict. Several reasons may have contributed to the trust issues, for instance Joe was probably threatened by the fact that Charles was younger and more educated than most of the staff he hired, and the fact that Charles was selected by us. To help Joe and Charles get over this hurdle we will work on integrating and collaborating problem solving techniques.

By building on the interests of both disputants we will be able to redirect their focus and narrow it on the issues at hand, point out areas of disagreement, and assign joint projects to help them work collaboratively. Joe will be able to take Charles under his wings, as a protege rather than an adversary, and show him the ropes of the business. We believe that by making the plan for the plant a joint effort with different tasks, and by redirecting both Joe and Charles’s focus it will help change the way Joe sees Charles and minimize the conflict.

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