Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation and Arbitration

COM 325 Communication & Conflict

As we move forward through life we can expect to find resistance. We will be involved in disagreements, arguments and other forms of conflict. We will be able to manage our way through most of the conflict we are involved in by ourselves, but there may come a time where we can’t. This is when we would involve a neutral third party to help us find a solution, this is known as mediation and arbitration. It is important to understand the difference between the two and to educate ourselves about the function, role and the effectiveness of both. It is also important to know when and how to use these processes and the drawbacks.


Mediation is the process in which a neutral third party facilitates communication between the people or parties that cannot agree on a resolution. The mediator works with both parties to help them find a mutually acceptable agreement .

Mediation can restore communication and help with damaged relationships. It encourages dialogue and participation by all parties. Mediation is more cost effective than alternatives to dispute resolution and has a higher success rate. When both parties have agreed to mediate, 80% of the time a resolution or an agreement is found that everyone finds acceptable. This process reduces the likelihood of involving legal support .


Arbitration requires a neutral third party known as an arbitrator that listens to both arguments and then makes a decision. It is agreed beforehand by both parties that whatever the decision the arbitrator makes will stand .

Arbitration often happens as a result of a failed mediation . Arbitration may also occur when a contract is involved or when viewpoints are drastically different and there is no chance of coming to a mutual agreement. While control is lost and given to the arbitrator, this process will result in a conclusion and is more cost effective than going through the court process .

Types of Disputes and drawbacks

Mediation can be used in a large range of situations. Consumer/small claims disputes, contract/commercial disputes, housing disputes, neighborhood disputes, and family law/ divorce disputes are some examples. There are very few drawbacks to mediation. Because the dispute could not be handled privately between the parties, it requires time and effort. It also comes with a monetary expense, both for the mediator and a lawyer if one was involved.

Arbitration is most often used when mediation fails and for disputes between major corporations, employment rights disputes, consumer disputes and international disputes. There is typically a signed contract involved. There are drawbacks, like mediation, there are costs involved and can very due to the nature of the case. A third party known as an arbitrator hears the case and then make a decision on who wins, so you can lose.

What the American Arbitration Association Does

The American Arbitration Association offers support for election administration to public and private organizations, from ballot preparation to tabulation. They provide an out of court resolution of disputes through mediation or arbitration. The AAA also offers several programs for claims, disaster relief, class arbitrations and several other ala carte options.

AAA aims to handle each case beginning to end, whether it is managing high value cases or supporting self-administered arbitration. They manage the scheduling of hearings, appointments and all aspects of the case. They seek to resolve all issues and to educate those in need.

How the American Arbitration Association Could Be Used in a Current or Future Career

I currently work for a large corporation that operates globally. I am in a leadership role that requires the duties of hiring and firing. We employ third party vendors, some of our business partners are represented by a union. AAA would be a good resource if there was any kind of labor dispute from internal employees, union workers or third party contractors. We also have consumer agreements, if a problem arose, it would be wise to utilize the American Arbitration Association.


Day to day life will always present challenge and disagreement, it is important that we handle these situations reasonably and responsibly. It is important that we recognize what conflicts we can resolve and the ones that will require help to find a solution. By utilizing mediation and arbitration we must educate ourselves about the differences between the two, how and when to use them and the potential drawbacks. Mediation and arbitration are great methods for conflict resolution if all else has failed.

Place an Order

Plagiarism Free!

Scroll to Top