Conflict Resolution


From WAVE member Don Brazier, Canada, an industrial relations specialist

I have a real interest in conflict resolution - understandable

given my job - and how to develop mechanisms to resolve disputes

without conflict, which of course in some instances is characterized

by violence. Recently, there has much discussion about alternative

mechanisms for dispute resolution, not just labor disputes but

disputes generally, including the domestic variety.

Another area of interest of mine is in public policy issues and how

government regualtion can create frameworks to avoid conflict.

I came to the conclusion some

time ago that imbalance of power is the major factor in creating

conflict and government action is a principal mechanism in either

creating the environoment that reduces the potential of conflict - by

equalizing power - or by exacerbating it by creating a situation

that, either deliberately or inadverdently, groups in society are

able to wield more power than others. In labor relations this is a

crucial issue since the collective bargaining relationship directly

flows from legislation.

As a general observation, the key to reducing conflict is to generate

understanding of the other person's point of view and to create a

solution that addresses that interests of both sides. There are

various dispute resolution techniques available which promote this.


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