Dispute resolution forms a critical aspect of any social organization. Humans are so much opinionated as well as quick to react and judge, sometimes acting beyond control. This is natural for everyone and should not be considered a weakness. All learning institutions today have realized the need to set up dispute resolution mechanisms in a bid to avert the greater impacts that come with unresolved disputes among all parties or habitats within the institution. To achieve harmony, we cannot just educate people on how to coexist we must also take the initiative to ensure that disputes are resolved in an amicable way (Ross et al., 1995). Today, especially with the individualistic culture in our society, people are more concerned about their own initiatives even at the expense of others there is a need to set up measures that will avert the dangers of personal interests overruling institutional matters (Havenside et al., 1998). Institutions are endowed with people with a diversity of cultures, beliefs and social norms. It is thus important to consider that these differences have an impact in relations among students, personnel and other stakeholders within the institution.
The focus of this paper is to bring to light a persistent overhead that has engulfed the students’ resolution body while seeking the best approaches to resolving these issues for good. The paper will be based on analysis of the situation and relating the issue at hand with recommendations from secondary sources to draw measures that will help solve the current problem.
2. Statement of the problem
Dispute resolution mechanisms in a diverse environment are a necessity. At Ashford University, the Student Dispute Resolution Center has for a long time been able to resolve disputes that have come their way. However, in recent times, I have not wholly been pleased by their efforts in resolving conflicts among students. A dispute resolution mechanism should seek to negotiate with the students and seek a solution that will settle the issue as at the present while formulating policies that will lessens the occurrence of the issue in the future. In the former, the Student Dispute Resolution Center at Ashford has done its best. However, in the latter, there has been little effort placed. By this, I mean that there has been a tendency that a similar grievance is aired to the body in a frequent basis, and the body has resulted to always negotiating short term solutions. The long term solution has never been part of their priorities. This has turned the mechanism into a formality with little effect. There is a need to keep a record of the disputes that are aired. This will allow the body to focus on those that frequently do occur to seek permanent solutions to them (Ross et al., 1995).
3. Literature review
Dispute resolution remains a key pillar in the success of any institution or organization. The professionals in the dispute resolution committees should learn to negotiate, solve problems, arbitrate and mediate as well as provides a systematic approach that will restore the situation to normalcy. When a problem is aired persistent by members that a dispute resolution committee serves, the committee should not just rely on the short term measures to resolve the problem. A study and evaluation of the current measures should be done and through and involvement of all concerned parties, a new set of policies should be set to ensure the problem is amicably resolved (Havenside et al., 1998).
In a similar approach Ross et al. (1995), asserts that when an issue is continuously aired in an organization or institution, the results is a buildup in frustration. The dispute resolution body is overwhelmed at this point and can do little to resolve the matter. The impacts that come with a grievance-turned-into-frustration situation is that the dispute resolution committee is placed in a hard position in explaining how they ended up acting to frustrating one party rather than providing them with a solution. This could in a way demonstrate their incompetence which harms their overall trust by the members they serve.
Ross et al. (1995), notes that there is a simple way to resolve a persistent grievance. The dispute resolution committee or body should keep a record of all reported conflicts. After every defined period of time, they should review the records as well as the solutions offered to determine the efficacy. The general observation would be based on trying to reach the involved parties at a later time and assuring them of your continued involvement in the situation as well as getting to know their views on the solution offered. This will form part of the evaluation techniques that will give a clue as to whether the solutions provided at the negotiation table have been adhered to by all parties. When any party contravenes the negotiation discussions, it will be important to recall them again. This will end the ever increasing reports of discontent among the parties involved. When the dispute resolution body plays a role from the inside, there are fewer issues of discontent. However, talking a peripheral role as has been the case at the Students Dispute Resolution Center, there will be little success achieved at the very end.
While the Student Dispute Resolution Center at Ashford cannot be termed as a failure, it is critical that they review their systems as well as the workforce. The current set of policies governing the body is not sensitive to diversity issues of culture and background. As such, all stakeholders should look to sitting down together and discussing a new set of policies that will eliminate this tendency to cause frustration to the same people that the body is intended to serve. On the other hand, there is a need to review the workforce within this body to ensure that they are capable of serving a culturally diverse community in dispute resolution. At times, it is critical that the dispute resolution body understand the cultural background of the main individuals it serves in the case. This is important because it will help determine if the disputes occurring among students are in any aspects related to differences in cultures (Havenside et al., 1998). This would help the body design effective measures that will help prevent such disputes in the future.
Ashford University and any other institution or organization cannot do without a dispute resolution body. This is because humans will always engage in conflicts and differences in ideologies that sometimes escalate to uncontrollable levels. Thus the Student Resolution Dispute Center at Ashford should be focused on evaluating their policies, guidelines and workforce to unearth the potential cause of the current crisis it is facing. When a dispute is resolved today and a short time later it returns on the dispute resolution table, it means that there is someone along the line who has not performed their obligation their duties. Proper follow up techniques should thus be a priority (Havenside et al., 1998). This will help gauge the root of the problem and combat the effects before they are aired again.
Havenside, S., Rowand, C., Williams, C., Farris, E., Burns, S., & Mcarthur, E. (1998). Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public Schools: 1996-97.
Ross, L., & Ward, A. (1995). Psychological Barriers to Dispute Resolution. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. doi:10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60407-4