15 Examples of Dispute Resolution
John Spacey, updated on March 25, 2022
Dispute resolution is the practice of resolving disagreements between parties. This can involve disputes between individuals or individuals and organizations or governments. The following are common types of dispute resolution.
AvoidanceThe first rule of dispute of resolution is to try to avoid disputes and avoid escalating disputes unnecessarily. For example, if a neighbor is loud, you might ask them in the kindest way possible to try to keep it down.
ArgumentsArguments are communication that are designed to explore differing points of view and resolve disputes. It is often possible to resolve much in an argument if both parties can remain emotionally grounded and reasonable.
NegotiationDirectly negotiating a deal to resolve a dispute. For example, a neighbor who agrees to be quiet after 9pm if you stop complaining about noise before this time.
FacilitationNegotiating with a facilitator who tries to keep things moving in a positive direction towards resolution. For example, human resources might step in to try to facilitate a solution to a dispute between employees that doesn't violate any company policies but is nonetheless distracting or disruptive.
ConciliationAnother term for facilitation. In some countries and jurisdictions, conciliation may be ordered or suggested by a court in areas such as divorce cases. As with a facilitator, a conciliator doesn't issue decisions but rather tries to help parties to resolve differences in a productive way.
Collaborative LawCollaborative law is a legal process that tries to resolve issues of Family Law without going to court.
MediationMediation is a formal and structured process whereby a professional known as a mediator uses various techniques to move a dispute forward towards a solution. A mediator may challenge either side if they say something that doesn't ring true but doesn't necessarily offer solutions such as "you should .."
ManagementEscalating a complaint to someone's manager. For example, complaining to a manager when you feel a salesperson has been rude to you as opposed to continuing to argue with them directly.
GovernanceEscalating a complaint to the governance structure of an organization such as a board of directors. This requires that the governance structure views you as their stakeholder. For example, if you are an investor.
Oversight BodiesIn many cases, government departments, industries and firms are accountable to oversight bodies and regulators. For example, if a telecom company overbills you it may be possible to file a complaint to industry regulators or consumer protection agencies.
OmbudsmanIn some cases, governments appoint an office known as an ombudsman to help resolve complaints between individuals and industries, public authorities or government departments. This office may try to help you resolve your complaint. For example, a state that has an ombudsman for complaints about insurance companies.
LawsuitsPursuing a lawsuit against parties in a civil court of law. This is typically viewed as a last resort whereby this can be expensive, slow and exhausting.
ArbitrationArbitration is a process whereby an independent third party issues a decision to settle a dispute. Both parties may agree at the start of the arbitration process to making this decision binding.
Adjudication ProcessesAdjudication processes involve a binding decision by an individual that is intended to resolve a dispute. This includes lawsuits and arbitration.
Consensual ProcessesConsensual processes involve an attempt to reach agreement between parties to a dispute without any binding decision by an independent third party. This includes approaches such as mediation, conciliation or negotiation.
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