Describe about the Prospects of Business Mediation and Negotiation.
Mediation is a conflict resolution method that is well structured and configured to amicably handle and resolve matters that arise during and prior to a conflict resolution. Additionally, many prospects have been developed and advanced as viable tools that can be used depending on the preference and nature of conflict. Notably, there is a lot that goes into consideration when delving into the field of conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is always viewed as an easy process, but it involves various processes including mediation, arbitration, and negotiation (Diehl & Druckman, 2012: 98). Ideally, various sources and works have been generated to validate the fundamental role played by different conflict resolution techniques. As such, this paper will discuss the role of mediation in conflict resolution process, as well as the models that mediation adopts to resolve conflict.
Mediation is an applied conflict resolution strategy that primarily involves two or more parties in conflict and a neutral third party. According to Schrumpf, Bodine and Crawford (1997: 47), the third party always acts as the modulator for agreement between the conflicting parties. The prescribed avenue of mediation is well structured and developed within the parameters of conflict resolution, ethics and integration thereby championing collective responsibility and affiliation. Relevantly, there are significant principles that generally govern the mediation process with respect to the involved parties and intended outcome (Emrich, 2011: 96).
Principles of Mediation
All Parties are Equal
The ideology of equality is an essential element of the mediation process since there is need to always have a level ground before commencing any conflict resolution act. Le (2014: 118), reiterates the vital role played by having a sense of equality among all involved parties in the mediation cycle. The mediator should also be perceived as equal to the others and not as more superior to them since it can result to revolt or opposition.
Neutrality of the Mediator
The mediator is the conscious neutral third party in the process of mediation. It is quite fundamental for a mediator to always assume a neutral role in the mediation table. Equally, the neutrality enables the conflicting parties to respect the mediation channel (Simpson, 1998: 89).
The Bottom Line is Conflict Resolution
The governing principle of any mediation is that there should be no room for compromise, but rather all conflicts are resolved amicably and at the best interest of all parties involved. All these principles collectively make up the main aspect of mediation to be reasonable, fair, and acceptable to the conflicting factions (Strasser & Randolph, 2004: 164).
There is a wide range of scholarly works that delve into the topic of mediation and conflict resolution. In essence, this section will primarily highlight the various scholarly works that have been advanced and have concrete relation to the study assignment. It is relevant to understand and be well acquainted to the various theories that anchor the ideologies behind the process of conflict resolution.
The Dual Concern Model theory
The concise dual concern model theory is conceptualized and affirmed perspective-driven focus that articulates the dual nature of people in conflict resolution. Equally, the dual nature model is primarily concerned with the aspects that usually influence people when delving into the field of conflict resolution. One nature is assertiveness that generally means the concern for self. On the other hand, there is the nature of empathy-concern for others (Va?Yrynen, 2001: 351). According to the model, during the conflict resolution process there is always a dual concern within the parties involved and it should be taken advantage of in a positive way to achieve the desired results of resolution. The coinciding of these two divergent perspectives creates a broader array of conflict resolution preference measures. These measures can be grouped in five main conflict resolution strategies:
- Avoidance conflict approach
- Competitive conflict approach
- Cooperation conflict approach
- Yielding conflict approach
- Conciliation conflict approach
According to the dual concern theory the use of mediation in conflict resolution process is a better choice and a competitive conflict resolution style.
Duursma (2009: 312) investigated the significance of international mediation projects within the last decade as well as various conflict resolutions. The author concentrated on conflicts such as US-Syria conflict, Russia-Germany soviet conflict and other political conflicts. According to Duursma (2009: 318), the viability of all conflict resolution efforts is dependent on the scope of conflict at hand as well as the parties involved. He goes ahead to enumerate the effects posed due to lack of conflict resolution interventions and consequences that have resulted from failed interventions. There are no limitations to the benefits of mediation, but there are many of limitations associated with unresolved conflict. Additionally, he coincides with the core principles of mediation and conflict resolution terming mediation as the front-runner of major world conflict resolution strategy. In his investigation, Duursma (2009: 402) cites the connotative convergent theory and particularly enumerates on the applicability it offers in conflict resolution process with respect to mediation.
Lansford (2008:113) conducted a conclusive and inductive research on the prospects of mediation and conflict resolution success in the Middle East. He attributes the major failures of conflict resolution methods as the result of turmoil of war. However, Lansford (2008:119) advances a new ideology of mediation that encompasses ethical significance. In his theory, he suggests that for mediation to be complete and successful, it should bear a collective appeal of ethical, religious, and political consideration. As such, when the involved parties are at the mediation table, they should feel respected and considered, but not indirectly imposed to do so (ILO, 2005: 73).
Moore (2014: 114) delves into conflict resolution as a fundamental role that needs to be explored both internally and externally in management. From his tentative research, he brings out the notion that negotiation is the ideal form of conflict resolution in the onset of the new generation era. From a research study done on 2002, he uses secondary data from the international conflicts and resolution organization (ICRO) to inference the modes and approaches used to conduct conflict resolution. From his analysis, he highlights that mediation was placed to have a 45% effect in terms of resolution as compared to other types of resolution (direct approach, leader-oriented approach and legality approach). Additionally, the most potent and suitable conflict resolution techniques are inferred by the containment of conflict ripples before and after the process (Doherty & Guyler, 2008: 66). In essence, the standards that fit the mediation and negotiation process encompass the willingness of the conflicting parties to listen to the neutral third party, who is the mediator (Bercovitch & Jackson, 2009: 313).
This section will seek to offer a critique interest of the advanced studies and consciously relate to the main ideologies of conflict resolution and management. Additionally, an analytical scope will be presented to fully challenge and enumerate on the academic literature provided. Suitably, both a theoretical denotation as well as methodological section will be relayed in in order to bolster the literature review and analysis.
The main theory that conflict resolution adheres to and subsequently subscribes to is the ‘concise convergent theory’. The convergent theory is highly bolstered and advanced by Druckman (2009: 106) and primarily delves in the explaining and articulation of the conflict resolution process. According to the theory, it is assumed that during resolution, there is an upper hand held by the party that resonates on “being the bigger” of the other. In such situations, even though the party that assumes convergent perspective to the prospects of conflict resolution may not necessarily be on the fault end, it undertakes to be the pioneer or frontier of negotiation, mitigation, or mediation (Grant, 2010: 412).
Additionally, there is the dual concern theory that has been well elaborated on in the Advanced Theories-Model of Conflict resolution section of this paper. Notably, both theories are formidably constructed and construed on some substantial assumptions and ideologies (Dana, 2001: 85). These ideologies may or may not be the best and hence it is vital to highlight the disadvantages and advantages of the two theories.
Advantages of The Dual Concern And Convergent Theory With Respect To Mediation
Both theories are similar in some aspects and the main advantage of the two theories is that they both uphold the principles of mediation and negotiation as conflict resolution techniques and strategies. Furthermore, the theories are well structured to articulate to the different levels of conflicts and subsequently offer the best fit approaches. For instance, in the case of two supreme parties (the US vs. Russia), ideally both have international sovereignty over the other and hence in case of conflict it requires a mediator of similar or higher sovereignty. Factually, this can be related to the principles and styles discussed in the former sections of this paper (Black, 2010: 175).
On the downside, the theories of conflict resolution affirmatively pose some considerable shortcomings in the manner of service provision and relevance. The main forerunning disadvantage that is by virtue paramount is the overgeneralization of ideologies and assumptions (Winslade & Monk, 2008: 281). It is essential to understand that every conflict situation is interpreted and undertaken in its own way. Finally, like many theories, there is an over log of conceptualization and uncertainty therefore no theory fully affirms the tackling of conflict under a specific strategy.
The nature of this section entirely involves the analysis of the literature works in a scientific, numerical, and factual account. The various studies and investigations done by the respective persons in their case studies as mentioned in the literature review primarily are the points of concern. Duursma (2009: 218) explores conflict resolution by accrediting quantitative research modules to his case study. He attempts to investigate the correlation of conflict resolution strategies to conflict resolution processes. According to his research study, analysis was done on a chosen study population of interest that had conflict history and had successfully relinquished the conflicts. Questionnaires and tentative observation was done to qualify the study. As for the rest of the case studies, a quantitative approach was conducted with data collection, analysis and mapping being the core aspects approach.
This section primarily undertakes to develop a model system that will help in decision making and management. Furthermore, the model is to articulate to conflict resolution and the prescribed approaches that are best fit.
Benefits of the Modeling
This particular modeling is ideal for management and offers the avenues and approaches that advance tasks, approaches, and relationships in the conflict resolution and management cycle. Secondly, there is a significant linkage that exists between the management and the diverse conflict resolution spectrum. As such, this model understands this principle and is configured to offer the best confronting approaches in conflict resolution. The model goes ahead to bolster earlier discussed theories and principles that have key significance to the formulation and workability of the model (Mnookin, 2015: 86).
This model is strongly anchored on the concept and ideology of dual concern theory (Boulle, 2011:109) and therefore involves a two-phased cycle of flow. One phase undertakes to relate to identification, ratification, and rectification of conflict situations. This formidably will involve the tools, approaches, and tasks relevant for the resolution onset phase. On the other hand the second phase will involve aspects of relationship creation and linkage. The configurations of this model allow it to be a flexible and broadly applicable model in the field of conflict resolution and management.
However, it is worth taking to consideration that this model is newly developed and hence every aspect of it is entirely authentic and solely self-sufficient. As much as concepts and ideologies may have been borrowed from other sources, the constellation of this model precisely is an original work.
Tools and Approaches
There are key tools that qualify the prescribed approaches particular and congruent to this model. Particularly, these tools and approaches are lined to both pre-workshops and pre-readings from works pertaining to conflict resolution and management. The tools primarily relate to the frameworks and methods of application that configure to the model (Eunson, 2007: 89). Moreover, the approaches involve the strategies ad measures that encompass the conflict resolution chain. This also offers insights to techniques and various conflict resolution theories.
In this model, the core tools-approaches involve the following
- Conflict principles (mentioned in the earlier sections of this paper)
Affirmatively, the tools used in this model basically involve the methods or aspects that set sail on the resolution paths. As such, they can be encompassed into broad categories-psychological, physical and physiological. According to the dual concern model theory, the tools to be used are dependent on the approach of interest. Therefore, the tools and approaches are mutually linked to one another.
The personnel suited primarily involve the parties in conflict as well as the third parties who in most circumstances serve as the modulators or watchdogs of the resolution process. Relevantly, they are to be selected using the spiral criteria that allocates for a neutral party to manage the conflict resolution process. Apart from the people in the conflict chain, this model also caters for the afflicted in terms of directly or indirectly affected by the conflicts. According to Flynn and Elloy (2013: 93), many times the mediation and negotiation falls short in that it concentrates on the conflicting parties and forgets the affected as a result of the conflict.
Circumstances Most Appropriate
The rallying situations or circumstances that necessities the application and use of this model is negotiation or mediation-oriented conflict cases. Such cases are cases that give room for amicable mediation or negotiation avenues. Therefore, the circumstances that have any aspect of conflict management or conflict resolution are best fit for this model
Cues to look out for
The framework of this model enables cued or signals be easily detected by anyone applying the use of this model in conflict management. The signals can be sequentially classed into the following detectors- Physical cues, emotional cues and lingual cues. In the aspects of physical cues/signals, one can look out for the following:
Body language (restlessness, flinching wrists, size up etc.)
Shout outs and burst outs
Non-compromise or understanding scope
In the case of emotional cues, the following are worth taking note of:
- Breakdown (crying, rent-out etc.)
- Ignorance of others or statues
Finally, in the aspect of lingual cues, the prospects of language are concisely of interest. They include aspects such as:
- Vernacular intervention during formal talk
- Harsh/ offensive talk
- Miscommunication and lack of communication thereof
It is vital to appreciate that as much as the model may offer cues and signals to serve as detectors of conflict, the pin point individual cues serve as better pin point conflict detectors. In terms of intrapersonal cues, these primarily entail the prospects within a person. For instance, they are cues that help self-analyze an individual to evaluate the conflict quotient. Some examples include the following:
- Sweaty palms
- Slurred speech
- Wobbly stomach
- Cinching teeth
- Smirks and detests
The interpersonal cues are fundamentally focused on articulating to others and how best one can read others to detect the conflict build in them. Subsequently, these cues are generally physical since it is hard to enumerate on the internal cues of other people (McGraw-Hill, Haynes & Fong, 2004: 218).
Summary Flow Chart
Conclusively, the main ideologies of mediation as pertains to conflict resolution are to advance resolution and negotiation in a well- structured and configured manner. Regardless of the broad prospects offered by conflict management, it is vital to subscribe to a particular module of conflict resolution depending on the nature and extent of a conflict. It is also beneficial to accredit the need to have conflict resolution modules that are holistic and encompass all parties involved and not just limited to the conflicting ones. Additionally, the best-fit approach to handling conflicts within any portfolio solely depends on the tools and circumstances preceding the situation. Ideally, a well developed and tested approach is the best way to go since the similarities within a given circumstance may equally coincide with another. In essence, the adoption of conflict resolution measurements and approaches that are construed into functional models is highly advocated for. This facilitates equitable management and amicable resolution of conflicts as well as the reverting of models to the organizational frameworks.
List of References
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