What's Happening in Conflict Resolution [04.19.16]

From Latest Issue of Negotiation and Conflict Management Research

An Exploration of the Structure of Effective Apologies

Abstract: Violations of trust are an unfortunate but common occurrence in conflict and negotiation settings: negotiators make promises that they do not keep; parties in conflict behave in unexpected ways, escalating tensions and breaking past trust. What often follows these violations is some form of an account, specifically an apology, in an effort to repair that trust. But are some apologies more effective than others?

Two studies reported here examine the structural components of apologies.

Six components of an apology were defined from previous research and presented to subjects—singly and in combination—in the form of component definitions and in the context of a trust violation scenario. Results indicate that not all apologies are viewed equally; apologies with more components were more effective than those with fewer components, and certain components were deemed more important than others. Moreover, apologies following competence-based trust violations were seen as more effective than apologies following integrity-based violations. Implications and future directions for research in the structure of effective apologies are presented. 

Read more abstracts from this issue [HERE] and read more on this study [HERE]. 

Bernie, Hillary, Logic, and Emotion - Staying w/Conflict - Election...

Bernie, Hillary, Logic, and Emotion

 by Bernie (not that one) Mayer[1]:


Hillary may be logical, but where is the passion? 

Bernie takes it to the establishment, and we may really like the way he “tells it like it is”, but his plans and promises are unrealistic. 

That just about sums up the majority of critiques of both candidates and their campaigns. Well maybe not quite, but this is at the heart of a lot of what has been written about the Democratic side of this primary season.

Read more and join the conversation [HERE]. 

(From IMI) We thought you would be interested to read a short summary of how the 400 delegates at the Singapore GPC voted electronically on the multi-choice answers to the 20 core questions about the future of dispute resolution.

It was summarised in a brief article entitled Data will defeat “the deadening drag of status quoism”. The Global Pound Conference Series has kicked off published this week at

Snippet: In response to a question about what is the greatest influence on parties when deciding which type of dispute resolution process to use, predictably Advisors ranked legal advice top. Users, as well as both Adjudicative and Non-Adjudicative providers ranked efficiency first and rated legal advice far lower. Similarly, when asked what role Users want lawyers to take in a dispute resolution process, Advisors ranked advocacy by lawyers as the top option. In contrast, Users, and all other stakeholder groups, ranked “working collaboratively with Users” as top, with advocacy by lawyers a distant second. When delegates were asked which stakeholders have the potential to be most influential to bring about change in dispute resolution, Advisors ranked themselves in the top slot, while Users placed them practically bottom, and all stakeholders, except Advisors, rated Governments/Ministries of Justice as the most influential. Another difference was that Advisors were the only stakeholder category to rank purely adjudicative dispute resolution processes highly.

Related articles on the GPC Singapore



David J Smith As professionals working day to day to ply our craft, we are 

often focused deeply on serving our clients be it through direct intervention or in a consulting capacity.   We are in business and taking our eyes off the ball in a competitive environment is not in our interests.

However, beyond serving our own needs, we have an obligation to support the greater profession and field.   We need to do this because as professionals, we must ensure that the values of the field continue, and that competent practitioners follow us. Mentoring, guiding, and encouraging protégées are core features of professionalism.

In my 30 years as a conflict intervener and peacebuilding educator, I have spent much of my time with youth helping them to understand the nature of conflict.  As might be expected, introducing young people to the field often results in inquiries about how to make a career as a mediator or other type of conflict intervener.   Answering this question has never been easy. 

Read more [HERE]. 

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