Communication and Conflict. Communication Management in the Alternative Dispute Resolution

Article excerpt

Communication and conflict. Communication management in the alternative dispute resolution Author: Laura Maria MARUÇCA Tritonic Publishing, 2010

Mediation as an activity and also as a field of research, has benefited, especially during recent years, from an important increase of interest and, of course, of books written on this topic. This is characteristic for not only for the American culture, but also for the European space, where specialized departments and structures have occurred in all public and even private institutions, a lot of professional specialized structures were formed, specialized departments in the field of higher education have been created, and legal bases and professional standards for mediation have been established.

One of the recent books on the domestic market, called Communication and conflict. Communication management in the alternative dispute resolution, is a research that tries to underline the importance of communication techniques in the process of solving any kind of conflict, and also to present some of the possible causes of conflicts, be they personal or diplomatic. From this point of view, the central hypothesis of the book is that almost all conflicts in the modern society, going from simple quarrels to diplomatic incidents, are based on poor communication.

According to the author, every modern contact, starting with the interpersonal relationships and going all the way through to diplomatic relations, is based on relationships and power, which automatically involves the need to master subtle communication, negotiation and mediation techniques. When any minor or major conflict occurs, the mediator has to solve it and to help repair the breaches of the communicational system, in order to preserve the relationship.

The introductory part of the book presents various techniques of communication whose failure can lead to conflicts and to the deterioration of relations on to a certain level, raising the need for mediation techniques to avoid any further development of the conflict. In order to better understand mediation as a phenomenon, the book presents a sort of historical view of this activity, starting from early primitive organization of communities, going through the first social and political order and reaching the modern, developed and complex society. All of them had the need and used a certain type of mediator or decision maker(s) in order to solve existing or potential conflicts. …