When the inevitable conflict arises, many companies resort to power plays, rush to litigation, or simply choose to ignore the problem–options that can cost a company dearly in more ways than one. Those costs can often be avoided, however, with the establishment of systems that promote collaboration and stop disagreements from becoming expensive disputes. Here, two experts offer four guiding principles for doing just that.
Written for non–experts in jargon–free language, Controlling the Costs of Conflict shows readers how to build the kinds of policies, procedures, and practices that can cut up to 80 percent of related legal expenses, slow turnover, strengthen long–term business relationships, reduce stress, and promote the success of an organization′s mission. Its clear and simple approach translates advanced concepts into practical how–tos, illustrating key points with real–world examples.
From choosing the best resolution option to early intervention to fostering collaborative strength, the guidelines found here apply equally to businesses, public agencies, religious institutions, schools, neighborhood associations, even nations. These principles will help organizations diagnose the weaknesses in their existing systems or build from scratch new systems that have the power to reduce the monetary, strategic, and emotional costs of conflict.
The Hidden Culprit of High Costs: Weak Systems.
First Principle: Acknowledge Four Ways to Resolve Conflict.
Defining Four Options.
Weighing Costs and Risks of Each Method.
Choosing an Approach to Conflict Management.
The Preferred Path for Cost Control.
Second Principle: Create Options for Prevention and Early Intervention.
A Template for All Organizations.
Applying the Template: Real Stories.
Third Principle: Build Collaborative Strength Through Seven Checkpoints.
Define Roles and Responsibilities.
Establish Selection Criteria.
Provide Education and Training.
Strengthen Support Systems.
Evaluate the System.
Fourth Principle: Use the Mediation Model to Build Cosensus Among Decision Makers and Users.
Assumptions About Change.
Phase One: Draft a Blueprint.
Phase Two: Implement the Plan.
Phase Three: Review the System Annually.
Conclusion: A Vision for Your Organization.
Resource A: Glossary.
Resource B: Ombudsman Code of Ethics and Standard Practices.
Resource C: Skills Courses.
"Slaikeu and Hasson, who are practitioners as well as researchers, are for real. This systems–design book––finally––is about the nuts and bolts of what really has to be in a system. The checklists and best–practice summaries will be helpful to all managers, and to everyong who thinks about organizations in a systematic way." ––Mary Rowe, MIT ombudsperson, and adjunct professor of negotiation and conflict management, MIT Sloan School of Management
"Anyone interested in better understanding how to control the costs of conflict will find this book of significant value." ––Benjamin W. Heineman Jr., senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, General Electric