Ashford University Conflict Management Essay

Focus of the Final PaperThis course focuses on identifying types of conflicts and resolving conflicts through effective communication techniques. Your Final Paper will be an eight-to ten-page paper (excluding the APA title and reference pages) that will showcase what you learned about conflict and conflict resolution.Identify a recent interpersonal, group, or organizational conflict that you were involved in and was later resolved. Select five of the topics listed below and discuss how they apply to your chosen conflict.  You must use a minimum of five resources to help support your discussion of these topics. Be sure to focus on communication techniques that were used during the conflict management process. Argue whether the resolution to this conflict was a “best practices” approach to resolving this conflict.   Mediation and arbitration are conflict resolution models that help varying parties achieve
a focal point and resolve their differences. Mediation and arbitration follow a similar model of
conflict resolution. The methods employ mediators and arbitrators, who are trained conflict
resolution experts. The experts help varying parties unpack their differences with the goal of
finding lasting solutions to the matter. The arbitrator or the mediator prompts communication and
input from the conflicting sides, creating a direction for the conflict resolution process (Cahn &
Abigail, 2014, p74). The methods also compare on the spectrum of resolving conflicts, as they
have a great magnitude of success as opposed to other conflict resolution methods.
The two conflict resolution methods differ in their roles, functions, and scope of
application. In mediation, for instance, the mediator helps the parties through the conflict
resolution journey. The mediator prompts the parties for answers or ideas through questions and
gathers substantial evidence for the conflict resolution. The mediator is a passive factor in this
method, as they help the parties work their mutual agreement on the problem (Cahn & Abigail,
2014, p71). Arbitration differs from mediation, as the arbitrator makes the final decision for the
parties. The arbitrator finds evidence by listening to both parties. They then use the gathered
evidence to reach a consensus and advocate for the best course of action. Parties are allowed to
vent their feelings, engage in problem-solving, and explain their expected course of action.
However, the arbitrator synthesizes the gathered facts versus their experience to advise on a
suitable decision. Unlike in mediation, the arbitrator makes the final decision for the parties.
Mediation has been deemed an effective conflict resolution strategy. Research occasions
about 78% effectiveness in alternative dispute resolution (Bercovitch, Jackson & Jackson, 2009).
The effectiveness level is higher than voluntary and court-imposed mediation. The service is
actually rated among the top-conflict resolution methodologies. Its effectiveness is also occasioned
by the court’s preference of the method as the best alternative and non-litigation conflict resolution
method. Mediation is effective because the parties feel part of the decision-making process, hence
mutual agreements. Arbitration, on the other hand, has a high-efficiency rate compared to court
proceedings. It is cheap, quick, and structural, enhancing the flexibility of the process.
Type of Disputes
Mediation and arbitration differ in the scope of application. Studies posit the effectiveness
of individual methods with a certain types of conflicts. Notably, mediation and arbitration cannot
be adopted for a certain magnitude of cases. Criminal cases, for instance, cannot be solved using
this method. Thus, the scope of application varies with the nature and type of conflict being
Mediation strategies are suitable for disagreements between family or team members. The
method primarily focuses on resolving issues with communication breakdown (Cahn & Abigail,
2014, p74). Thus, the mediator acts as a communication link between the parties and enhances a
desirable course of action. Workplace disagreements between senior and junior staff are suitable
for mediation. Mediation is also suitable for cases where the parties have not clearly defined or
understood the course or nature of the conflict. Mediators leverage caucuses with the parties and
enhance the development of a mutual standpoint that guides mediation.
Arbitration, on the other hand, is adopted for conflicts involving the informal but dependent
relationship between varying parties. This can involve solving conflicts between parties who have
a conflict of interest in a certain matter and cannot give a direct and definitive solution to the
problem. Here, an arbitrator is used to strike a balance between the two sides and propose the
decision for conflict resolution. Also, arbitration can be adopted for conflicts where the parties
don’t seem to reach an agreement over continuous mediation processes (Cahn & Abigail, 2014,
p82). For such scenarios, an arbitrator is used to listen and give a verdict for the case.
Despite the outlined advantages and effectiveness, mediation and arbitration pose
numerous disadvantages during conflict resolution. In mediation, for example, the existence of
power imbalances results in an unfair process. Mediation is unsuitable for resolving issues between
senior and junior personnel, as the juniors will not effectively express their ideas (Cahn & Abigail,
2014, p75). Also, mediation is disadvantageous for parties with communication or speaking
problems. This is because they might find it difficult to express their views, affecting the decision.
Mediation is also a rigid decision-making model, especially when the parties remain firm about
their positions.
Arbitration, on the other side, has various disadvantages to the conflict resolution model.
For instance, arbitration does not grant an avenue for appeals. The arbitrator’s decision is final,
and the parties have to agree with it. Additionally, arbitration is a limiting resolution method, as
the awards and punishments established are not directly enforceable. The awards are subject to
court jurisdiction, undoing the need for an out-of-court settlement (Bercovitch, Jackson & Jackson,
2009). Also, partiality and lack of expertise among arbitrators can lead to ineffective decisions.
The arbitrator has to remain impartial and professional in their duty. Lastly, arbitration is deemed
a mandatory out-of-court settlement, which requires the parties to go by the provided contract.
Here, parties are denied their right to choose the suitable resolution method for their issue.
American Arbitration Association
The American Arbitration Association is a non-profit making American organization with
a specialty in alternative dispute resolution services. The organization focuses on enhancing a
smooth dispute resolution model through the provision of effective case management services,
high-level arbitrators and mediators, and high-level expertise for conflict resolution. In
corporations, the organization can help develop alternative dispute resolution systems to enhance
human resource operations. This is a critical tool that can help present and future workplaces
manage conflict and enhance productivity.
Bercovitch, J., Jackson, R., & Jackson, R. D. W. (2009). Conflict resolution in the twenty-first
century: principles, methods, and approaches. University of Michigan Press.
Cahn, D. D., & Abigail, R. A. (2014). Managing conflict through communication (5th ed)
Worthington, J. (2013). Forgiveness and reconciliation: Theory and application. Routledge.
Thesis: The paper discusses various concepts about communication and conflict resolution
methods. The paper seeks to analyze the role of communication in resolving conflicts. The outline
is as follows:
Autonomous and positive faces
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Mediation and Arbitration

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