At the workplace there are conflicts that require resolving amicably for the benefit of both parties in question. When these conflicts occur, the parties need a means of resolution and there are several options to choose from. These options often include litigation, mediation and arbitration. It is also important that all parties should agree on the preferred mode of conflict resolution so that the process may remain relevant and uphold fairness. The options of conflict resolution that are discussed in this paper are mediation and arbitration.

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In his analysis, Moran (2011) termed mediation as a mode of conflict resolution that involves facilitating or aiding communication and negotiation between the conflicting parties. It involves a third party who may or may not be a legal counsel but is well informed with regards to employment law. His or her duty is to remind both parties of what the law requires in their particular situation. Other than just negotiating for both sides, the mediator has to ensure that the law is not violated. The mediator has to be neutral and in most cases approved by both the employer and the employees.


According to Dunlop (1997), arbitration is an informal version of a litigation which involves both conflicting parties as well as a neutral person either appointed by the court or chosen to hear the issue by both parties. It involves procedures that are similar to the litigation including presentation of evidence in the form of documents and witnesses, but the venue is usually more relaxed like a conference room (Moran, 2011). The process often requires legal counsel as the matter at hand is explored based on the law. The arbitrator thus has to be objective and well versed with matters of employment law.

Relevance to the Law

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Mediation and arbitration are some of the ways in which work place conflicts can be resolved before they escalate to become expensive law suits and legal battles. The employment laws recognize that they will at one point or another degenerate into conflicts within the organization that can be resolved with a little external help. Thus mediation and arbitration are relevant in that they provide a cheaper and better option with regards to conflict resolution as opposed to law suits (Dunlop, 1997).

How HR Can Deal with the Issue

When conflicts arise, it is in the interest of the organization to have them resolved as quickly as possible to minimize the loss of time and money, as well as avoid negative publicity that may damage the corporate image of organization (Dunlop, 1997). It is therefore important for HR personnel to get to know the company’s priorities and consider them in choosing an option for conflict resolution. In more ways than one, knowing what options are at their disposal will help the HR make the right choice by evaluating these options based on issues like cost, time constraints, viability of anticipated outcomes, associated stress levels, the need for discretion and confidentiality among others. Mediation and arbitration thus provide the HR with great and practical options for conflict resolution within the organization.

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More often than not, employees go up against their employers in a bid to have their grievances addressed. This usually leads to a law suit or even a prolonged legal battle that becomes quite expensive for all parties involved. Considering the option of resolving such conflicts out of court, it is much better and cheaper to evaluate the pros and cons of each procedure as well as its chances of success with regards to offering an amicable solution that is justified and ratified by the law as well as accepted by both parties. This can be achieved by mediation to facilitate objective communication and thence negotiation, or arbitration to aid in legal settlement in a more relaxed and discrete environment.

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