An Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a voluntary procedure where parties come to an agreement to use in conjunction with a formal process of administration, to resolve and settle disagreements or disputes in a work environment (Ann and Jay, 2002). There exist a number of objectives that lead to the use of an ADR processes in an organization. The Alternative Dispute Resolution processes should perform the following factions among others.
It should resolve or reduce a number of issues in a dispute, be accessible, use the available resources efficiently, resolve disputes and disagreements as early as they occur, produce effective, lawful and acceptable outcomes to the involved parties and enhance the parties’ satisfaction (Cavel and Vondra, 1994). Types of ADR processes Mediation is a type of neutrally facilitated negotiation. It is a process where the parties to the dispute choose a mutually acceptable and independent third party called the mediator, to assist them in arriving at an amicable solution to their conflict or dispute (Cavel and Vondra, 1994).
The mediator enables parties to appraise their own cases with him in confidence, the factors like business relationships, commercial pressures, and reputation issues can be taken into account to necessary extent. Also, the procedure is flexible to suit the parties and the dispute. Mediation is also quick, consequently cheap and entirely confidential. However, Mediation is not suitable where the parties in a dispute require a court judgment (John and Steven, 2003).
Conciliation is a process where the conciliator might express an opinion on the advantages of a dispute and will recommend a resolution to that dispute if he is not able persuade the parties to create their own solution (Ann and Jay, 2002). It is often preferred to mediation if the parties want the benefit of a conciliator’s intervention and assistance in the given confidential form provided. Neutral or expert evaluation; Here the parties aggrieved appoint an acceptable and neutral third party to both of them to evaluate their dispute and deduce an opinion on its outcome (Ann and Martin, 2002).
They may request for an evaluation of their positions as a matter of law liability. Adjudication is non-housing grant whereby it is a process in which the parties appoint a neutral expert in the subject in disagreement to decide the dispute (Cavel and Vondra, 1994). The adjudicator’s decision may be binding in the end of a temporary effect or advisory depending on the parties’ terms of reference availed to him. Implementation of an ADR processes The implementation of an ADR process may face a lot of barriers.
For instance, the management may reject it. This may arise where the management do not belief in simple methods of conflict resolution or where they belief Court judgment. Also, another barrier could be misinformation or lack of commitment. Some employees or managers may present the truth about then ADR process as incorrect or as a bad method thereby creating some for of rejection by the other people within an organization (Cavel and Vondra, 1994).
The management may also pose a big challenge if it will decline to provide the required leadership in the process of implementing the ADR process. This is where the leading parties may not be willing to play a lead role in its implementation. Another challenge that may be realized is the lack of any form of commitment by the implementing group or lack of a proper legislation for its implementation. Some people on the other hand my go to court to acquire an injunction over the use of this process in an organization.
While on the other hand the law firm workforce may fear the possible consequences of adapting ADR process subjecting it to criticism (John and Steven, 2003). Therefore, to overcome these challenges, one needs to have a number of methods. For instance, the person implementing an ADR Process should improve the communication to the rest of the employees and the management in general. Effective communication ensures that the process shall be well explained and illustrated while giving the advantages of accepting its use in the organization if implemented (Steven and Graham, 1993).
Also, it is necessary that the concerned parties should hold a meeting for brainstorming and analysis of the strengths of the proposed ADR Process and its implementation. Involving the all affected stakeholders in implementation process ensures that the stakeholders own the process by their active contribution and participation, thus likely to result less resistance. Moreover, this will ensure that the persons concerned are well informed and are part of the process thereby reducing the chances of rejection and other barriers to its implementation.
Another way of overcoming the implementation of an ADR Process is by adopting good leadership behavior by the leading persons in the organization. In this regard, a hands-off leadership style which is closely related to “laissez-faire” is appropriate leadership behavior whereby the top managerial carder provides no or little direction and gives workforce as much freedom in the implementation process (Donald, 2004, p. 216). The authority is given to the staff enabling them to make decisions, determine goals, and resolve problems on their own.
However, the management should lead by supporting the implementation of the ADR Process and also provide relevant advice as to the advantages and disadvantages of using the process in the organization in resolving disputes and not imposing the process. Also, an appropriate advice should be given in relation to the legal processes and other court related problems like delays which are likely to drag the resolution of a dispute that would be resolved in a matter of days or hours between the parties.
In addition, the cost that is involved in the legal process is higher that that used in the ADR Process. This should discourage the aggrieved parties from taking the case to the courts. The ADR Process plan may be accepted by the management if the definition of the intermediaries like the conciliators, mediators among others is well done and identified. The management might also accept the plan if legality part of the intermediaries is well done especially in adjudication where the experts are involved in the dispute resolution (Ann and Martin, 2002; John and Steven, 2003).
This mainly because of the associated advantages of using an AR process like satisfactory results, more flexibility, participation and control, better case understanding, management improvement and reduction of hostility (Cavel and Vondra, 1994). The management is also likely to accept the ADR Process plan if the cost is conspicuously advantageous in adopting the ADR Process and if it proofs that by adopting it, the parting are likely to resolve their disputes amicably are return to their normal way of working because as an organization, it is only fare that the employees are working with harmony and agreement.
In conclusion, it is clear that an ADR Process is good for an organization if it is implemented and well used. As much as there are challenges that are associated with its implementation, it is proper that it is well explained both to the management and the rest of the employees so as to embrace its merits and foster a sense of collective acceptability thereby reducing the chances of its rejection.
Courtney from Study Moose
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