Conflict resolution techniques

Last Updated: 08 May 2020
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 Conflict resolution techniques form one of the most crucial factors in ensuring sustainable harmonious existence of members in the community. This is because they promote forgiveness, understanding, and some sense of justice between conflicting groups or individuals. Of the numerous techniques of conflict resolution, negotiation is a commonly employed and practiced in the solving business related conflicts.

This method enjoys a number of advantages such as cutting down associated legal costs and saving time as well as providing the conflicting parties with the open opportunity to strike a balance on their demands as a solution to a dispute (Lens, 2004). However, negotiations can either be interactive or distributive; both of which have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, interactive negotiation serves to promote strong relationships between involved parties as it involves maximum sharing of information, an element which is lacking in distributive negotiation, which seeks to promote giving out (Huang, Kersten, & Lundwing, 2006).

The author of this paper seeks to establish the benefits of negotiation and why a negotiator should know their BATNA. In addition, the paper will identify and discuss three characteristics and two characteristics of integrative (win-win-) negotiation and distributive negotiation respectively. Also provided in this essay are the three factors that dictate the use of concession during a negotiation. Lastly, the author will give a reasoned argument on the best rule of fairness to rely upon as a student while lobbying for more student aid. Negotiation as a method of dispute resolution has numerous advantages.

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First, the process provides a confidential framework for the involved parties to finding a binding solution to their problems (Lens, 2004). This is contrary to other process like arbitration or court cases, which are evidently marked with provisions for external influence in the decision making process. Another advantage of negotiation is that it is relatively cheap compared to other forms of dispute resolution method (Bazerman, et al, 2000). This can be asserted from the fact that it saves time and money since disputing parties enjoy the privilege of dictating their rate of striking a solution.

In addition, negotiation is to be praised as a crucial tool for enabling a relatively fair and justice conflict resolution particularly in cases were cause and/or demands are hard to quantify (Khandemian, & Weber, 1997). This can be evident from incidences such as post election violence, which dictate for first solutions to evade humanitarian crisis. Moreover, the process of negotiation has been closely attributed to giving the benefit of ensuring a value-for money solution in a dispute. Negotiation allows individual parties to strike an agreement without the influence of a third party.

This has the implication that the involved parties can only settle for agreements that significantly reflect their interests. The process of negotiation is found to promote strong relationships between disputed parties. According to the principles of effective negotiation practices, the parties involved have equal authority to ensure substantial levels of acceptance to the outcome of the process prior to signing an agreement (Usunier, & Ghauri, 2003). This is further enhanced by the fact that the negotiator does not function to impose verdicts on the conflict.

Due to this reason, the disputed parties end up appreciating their opponents thus promoting their relationships. True to the letter, strong relationships between parties serve the instrumental role of improving social, economic, and business security. This makes negotiation a vital tool in ensuring the long-term sustainability of businesses as it mitigates incidences of longstanding conflict of interests between parties. Since the sole purpose of engaging in a negotiation is to find a fair and just solution that benefits both parties, the negotiator should know their BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement).

By nature, man is found to be a selfish animal. He is always out to promote his interest at the expense of others. Based on this claim, disputed parties will always seeks to ensure that the negation agreement accommodate all their interest but none of their opponents. On the other hand, such influence can be enhanced by numerous environmental factor differences such as social, political, and economic powers enjoyed by one of the involved parties, a move which risks intimidation in the process.

It is due to this reason that the negotiator should have in mind an alternative to the negotiated agreement, which they can introduce to the table to enlighten the parties of aspects of legalities and fairness (Venter, 2010). On the other hand, failure by the negotiator to provide alternatives to the negotiation process has been blamed for derailing the process. This is a contradiction to the claimed benefits of negotiation as a potential tool for saving wastage of time and money resources of the parties.

In addition, it is a common occurrence to witness renegotiation petitions, a factor which can be resolved if the negotiator knew and proposed their BATNA to the disputed parties for consideration (Venter, 2010). There are two types of negotiation techniques namely; interactive and distributive negotiation. Negotiation is defined as the processes through which disputing parties engage in concerted communication, commonly through compromise, as a way of realizing a binding agreement for their dispute (Lens, 2004).

Interactive negotiation is a negotiation approach which aims at ensuring that every party involved in the disputes wins by promoting cooperation to achieve something together. To realize this goal, interactive negotiation is characterized by a multitude of negotiation issues to be bargained in the process (Kersten, Noronha, & Teich, 2000). This has the implication that in the process, each involved party is willing to trade some of its interest while protecting some of its core demands. Therefore, interactive negotiation seeks to promote value for interest in the process.

This brings into picture the question of sharing, an element which dictates for ensuring that the involved parties understand the situation of their rival. Thus, multitude issues as a characteristic of interactive negotiation serves the purpose of ensuring that the parties realistically share as much information as possible during the process. Another unique characteristic of interactive negotiation is that it involves compromise of interest in the problem solving stage (Kersten, Noronha, & Teich, 2000).

According to available literature on interactive conflict negotiation practices, the involved parties should give each other what they perceive as of less value to them. Nevertheless, this act of compromising interest should ensure that the giver gains substantially in the process. This can be evident in an employer-employee conflict were the employer decides to increase salary under conditions of improved employee commitment to the objectives of the organization, a problem solving technique that bring positive gains to both parties. The third characteristic of interactive negotiation is bridge building.

Just like other forms of dispute resolution, negotiation agreements remain legally binding forces between the involved parties (Kersten, Noronha, & Teich, 2000). However, in an interactive negotiation, the aim is to establish and promote a strong relationship between the parties. This has the implication that the process leaves room for communication and future renegotiation of the problem if one party finds it unfair. It is worthy noting that the modern competitive economic environment dictates for long-term relationships between business partners.

Therefore, an interactive negotiation approach must ensure appreciation and acceptance of the agreement by both parties. This is instrumental in promoting association trust and thus security for both parties; the driving force behind success in ensuring in long-term business competitive advantage in the marketplace. Distributive negotiation of the other hand entails the process of sharing of available things between the disputing parties in proportions; thus the name fixed pie negotiation as it only involves giving out (Kersten, Noronha, & Teich, 2000).

This form of negotiation is characterized the fact that each party in the disputes holds its interests to the heart. Distributive forms of negotiations in the business world are mainly involved in the supply chain management systems. In this system individual parties seek to either maximize their profits or minimize their expenses. At the retail level for example, businesspersons will always push for the highest possible product prices to improve their business outputs. On the contrary, customers are always out to get the cheapest product prices as a way of promoting their economical savings in the society.

Based on this reasoning, distributive negotiation will witness identification of as much information from the opponent to enhance striking of a fair deal in the scattering of benefits and losses. The other important characteristic of distributive negotiation is that the involved parties will only engage in giving alternative information rather than allowing the opponent to understand their actual interests and situation in the process (Kersten, Noronha, & Teich, 2000). This can be evident from a scenario were one party gives the other of potential other parties to engage with.

Such have the implication that the parties are willing to quit the negotiation process at any point. Concession during a negotiation can arise due to a number of factors. The most common factor is failure by the involved parties to strike an agreement in the process. In business partnership disputes for example, the negotiation process can result into a concession where one party gains the right to operate a subsidiary business as a way of resolving the disputed subjects in the partnered business (Huang, Kersten, & Lundwing, 2006).

Another factor which can lead to concession in a negotiation is the event when the dispute ends up forming a single source situation. Some sources of conflict in business are driven by malicious conduct of involved parties rather than actual dispute in the process. This implies that only one of the parties has the legal authority to enjoy the ultimate right to gain favor in the negotiation process. The third factor which can lead to a concession in a negotiation is in the event that one of the parties involved walks out of the negotiation table (Huang, Kersten, & Lundwing, 2006).

Negotiation is legally recognized by the laws of our nation. It is due to this reason that entering in the process dictates for signing of a commitment agreement to the process. Therefore breach of this legal commitment without legally authentic reasons can serves as a potential source for implying concession in a negation. This move negates any benefits that could have been gained by the defying party. As a student lobbying for more student aid, the author could engage in considering equitable justice as a rule of fairness.

According to the principles of equitable justice, fairness benefits should be reflective one social and economic status in the community relative to other members. This has the implication that one should not lobby for huge sums of student aid while other students are negotiating with the day-to-day problems of fee payments and survival means in the college. On the other side, an individual should engage in providing authentic qualification to assert their genuine need for additional student aid.

The principles of ethics of fairness have it that the long-term sustainability of prosperity must be based on accuracy of information (Naela, & Polzer, 1995). On the contrary, misrepresentation of information for financial gains has been closely found to be a vital tool in ensuring quick success in the community. Nevertheless, increased financial gains brings with it change in lifestyle. This implies that in the event of discovery of such misinformation by the aid supply could significantly compromise the student’s ability to sustain their assumed lifestyle.

Thus, the rule of equitable justice is the best to employee while seeking more student aid. In conclusion, it is quite clear from the decision that negotiation serves the ultimate purpose of promoting just and fair resolution of conflict through cooperation between the disputing parties. In addition, unlike distribute negotiation, interactive negotiation is important in disputes which dictate for strengthening the relationships between the parties. This is because it allows the parties to protect their core interest while trading less value interests to the advantage of their opponent.

Through this, interactive negotiation functions to promote communication, a major tool for mitigating constant recurrence of disputes in an organization. ? References Bazerman, M. , et al. (2000). Negotiation. Annual Review of Psychology, 13, 46-61. Huang, X. , Kersten, G. , & Ludwig, S. (2006). Towards a Behavioral Agent-Based Assistant for e-Negotiations. Retrieved August 21, 2010, from http://citeseerx. ist. psu. edu/viewdoc/download? doi=10. 1. 1. 73. 355&rep=rep1&type=pdf Kersten, G. , Noronha, S. , & Teich, J. (2000). Are All E-Commerce Negotiations Auctions? Retrieved August 21, 2010, from http://citeseerx. ist. psu. edu/viewdoc/download? doi=10. 1. 1. 22. 9892&rep=rep1&type=pdf Khandemian, A. , & Weber, E. (1997).

From Agitation to Collaboration: Clearing the Air Through Negotiation. Public Administration Review, 57, 43-51. Lens, V. (2004). Principled Negotiation: A New Toll for Case Advocacy. Social Work, 49, 12-23. Naela, M. , & Polzer, J. (1995). Constraints or Catalysts? Reexamining Goal Setting Within the Context of Negotiation. Human Performance, 8, 29-39. Usunier, J. , & Ghauri, P. (2003). International Business Negotiations. Oxford: Emerald Group Publishing. Venter, D. (2010). What is a BATNA? Retrieved August 21, 2010, from

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