JMSB home |  E-negotiation project |  Inspire system |  Invite platform | 
  Home |  People |  Purpose |  Projects |  Seminars |  Papers |  Learning |  Community |  Positions  |  Franšais
 InterNeg Research Centre
 Suite MB-014-264
 1450 Guy Street
 Montreal, Quebec H3H 0A1
 Tel: (514) 848-2424-2799

Conflict Resolutions

People and organizations involved in a dispute have a variety of choices concerning means of resolving their differences, including discussions, quarrel, war, and the four methods given below.


Negotiation is a bargaining relationship between parties who have a perceived or actual conflict of interest. The participants voluntarily join in a temporary relationship designed to educate each other about their needs and interests, to exchange specific resources, or to resolve one or more intangible issues such as the form their relationship will take in the future or the procedure by which problems are to be solved. Negotiation is a more intentional and structured dispute resolution process than informal discussions.


Mediation is an extension and elaboration of the negotiation process. Mediation involves the intervention of an acceptable, impartial, and neutral third party who has no authoritative decision-making power to assist contending parties in voluntarily reaching their own mutually acceptable settlement of issues in dispute. As with negotiation, mediation leaves the decision-making power in the hands of the people in the conflict.
Mediation is a voluntary process in that the participants must be willing to accept the assistance of the intervenor if the dispute is to be resolved. Mediation is usually initiated when the parties no longer believe that they can handle the conflict on their own and when the only means of resolution appears to involve impartial third-party assistance.


Arbitration is a generic term for a voluntary process in which people in conflict request the assistance of an impartial and neutral third party to make a decision for them regarding contested issues. The outcome of the decision may be either advisory or binding. Arbitration may be conducted by one person or a panel of third parties. The critical factor is that they are outside of the conflict relationship.
Arbitration is also a private process in that the proceedings and often the outcome are not open to public scrutiny. People often select arbitration because it is more informal than a judicial proceeding and frequently faster, less expensive, and private. In arbitration the parties often are able to select their own arbiter or panel, and thus have more control over the decision than if the third party were appointed by an outside authority or agency.

  June 23, 2018
© Copyright 1996-2018 Gregory Kersten & The InterNeg Group
InterNeg Research Centre, Concordia University (Montreal)