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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