Mediation Practice and Theory Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1450 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Careers

Mediation, conflict resolution and arbitration are considered effective methods of dealing with conflict. Since "society perceives conflict as something that gets in the way of progress" (Boulle, 2005, p. 87) employing effective methods of dealing with societal conflict allows that same society to progress and become more effective in handling situations that impede society in moving forward. Boulle also showed that "conflict is seen as a fact of life and when it is properly managed it can have many benefits for the parties and constituents" (Boulle, p. 87).

Resolving conflict can be beneficial for society, and whether the method to resolve such conflict is through mediation, or arbitration, or conflict resolution depends on the situation and the preferences of the parties involved.

Mediation is used when the parties agree that an unbiased third party can direct the proceedings based upon certain agreed upon standards and guidelines. It is the mediator's role to facilitate the circumstances of the conflict and allow all parties an equal say in how they were/are affected by those circumstances. McNamara states; "Conflict is when two or more values, perspectives and opinions are contradictory in nature and haven't been aligned or agreed about yet" (McNamara, 2008), it is the mediator's responsibility to bring all of those values, perspectives and opinions into the open and allow discussions to take place concerning them.

Allowing the parties to express these emotions may seem unhelpful in resolving the dispute, but if managed constructively these emotions may help towards a better relationship between the parties in the future" (Boulle, p. 348).

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Arbitration, as compared to mediation, differs in that while all sides are allowed the opportunity to express their concerns and to expound upon the situation as they see it, it is not each other they must convince, but the arbitrator. The arbitrator then studies the compiled information and renders a decision based on that gathered evidence. Both sides must have previously agreed to accept the aribtrator's decision, and then must abide by that decision. The mediator does not make a certain decision, but rather renders an environment in which the parties work out their own differences.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Mediation Practice and Theory Assignment

Mediators come in all shapes and sizes, and approach situations in a variety of manners. Most mediators have a certain 'style' to their approach and oftentimes they follow guidelines that assist them in mediating. One mediator writes; "a mediation session presents certain "structural" and "behind-the-scene" considerations that are not the direct subject matter of the event, but are prerequisites for a successful event" (Reed, 2008). The mediator's job is more than just facilitating a conducive environment, but it is also to understand how each party 'sees' the problem. The mediator gains this understanding by studying the situation, the parties involved and the possible solutions, and then employing skills that will allow for that knowledge to be understood by all involved parties.

Conflict Management

With the onslaught of globalization in the workplace a number of issues arise that need managing. Various cultures and bias are assumed to be present during meetings, throughout interactions and, particularly during times that decisions must be made. It is a simple matter then to understand that conflicts will occur, and that the most successful business will be transacted when conflicts can be managed in an efficient and thorough manner. One recent study showed that people "from a wide variety of nationalities and cultures bring diverse sets of working experiences and backgrounds to team-based work" (Correia, 2008, p. 19). Since different cultures view events with a societal bias, it is easy to understand that conflict management is currently, and will continue to be, a tool wielded by the most effective manager or mediator.

There are changes in the way that a group approaches certain team projects. In the Correia study, the different groups showed how conflict management was able to assist them in completing a graduate school project. The issues themselves changed as did the interests of the participants. Correia's study showed that during the initial phases of the project "teams frequently cited relational-based sources of conflict" (Correia, p. 20).

According to the study these issues included such things as language usage and communication skills and styles, as well as personality conflicts, lack of experience and different priorities and motivations. All of these, and more, where described as the main causes of disagreement.

As the project(s) evolved… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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