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2. Facilitation. The facilitator focuses on resolving the dispute and is most
helpful when the level of emotions about the issues is fairly low and the
people involved trust one another to develop acceptable solutions.
3. Mediation. Mediation uses a third party who is not a member of the
organization and is free of bias in the situation. The mediator can only
recommend—although some organizations accept binding mediation as
a way of resolving disputes, with the mediator placed in the role of
decision-maker. Mediation may be helpful when those parties involved
in a dispute have reached an “impasse” and the solution is potentially
dangerous. A mediator may offer advice, suggestions, and options to help
resolve the problem. The authority the mediator brings to the dispute is
neutrality and expertise. Care must be taken to bring someone in with a
track record of fairness and lack of bias in mediating disputes.
4. Interest-based problem solving. Interest-based problem solving
attempts to improve the working relationship between the parties in
dispute by using rational and focused ways of resolving problems as
well as reducing emotions among the people involved. Techniques
suggested for use in interest-based problem solving include brain-
storming, creative alternative solutions to a problem, and agreed-upon
rules to reach a solution.
5. Peer review. Peer review involves the evaluation of a problem and
recommendation of a possible solution by fellow employees. Because
these suggestions come from peers, they may have more impact on
the involved parties. However, peer reviews are fraught with concerns
about objectivity, composition of the review panel, dual loyalties, and
conflicts of interest and are usually only helpful if done with the com-
plete confidence of the parties involved. Review panels in sexual
harassment cases might be a good model to explain this approach.
Sexual harassment review panels have a mediocre to poor record of
objectivity, and recommendations to upper management are often
rejected because of due process issues and concerns regarding objectiv-
ity. On the other hand, courts have been reluctant to overturn deci-
sions made by organizations when review panels are used in sexual
harassment investigations.
6. Employee training. All employees should understand the correct
way to report potentially or actively violent and disruptive behavior
observed in other workers. Robinson (1996, p. 6) suggests that the
following topics be included in all workplace violence prevention
training:
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