Disputes are a common phenomenon in the public sector as well as in the environment





Disputes are a common phenomenon in the public sector as well as in the environment. Frames are necessary in assessing these disputes together with mediation between the conflicting parties. Frames are perceptions of the parties about the causes, issues and the possible outcomes of a conflict. Frames are important in conflict resolution because they influence and affect the parties’ perception, behavior and strategies during the negotiating process. If not well examined, frames limit the number of possible solutions of a conflict therefore making conflict resolution difficult.

It is difficult to solve conflicts in multilateral negotiations than in two-party negotiations. The process of conflict resolution and the developing of solutions differ sharply in multilateral negotiations. For instance, multilateral negotiations are international which often complicates the negotiating process. There are numerous challenges of international multilateral negotiations. One model of multilateral negotiations is then social network model. This model is effective in developing solutions acceptable by most of the negotiating parties.

In order to become successful in the negotiating table, proper timing is crucial. Timing refers to the appropriate period when to get serious with the negotiations. The ripe time to begin negotiating process is when there are no other unilateral ways of arriving at a satisfactory resolution. At such a moment, the parties are desperate to reach a consensus, in order to avoid the often painful stalemate. The pain and cost of the stalemate to the parties acts as a push factor to them, to begin negotiations. Appropriate timing as well as the correct estimation of the ripeness of a negotiation makes conflict resolution easier.

Lax and Sebenius (2003) highlight three dimensions in negotiations which are; tactics, deal design and setup. These three dimensions are important for any successful negotiation. Tactics allows the negotiators to convince the other parties about their case as well as persuasively offering new offers and countering other offers. Deal design refers to the ability of negotiators to develop deals accepted by other parties. The set up of the issues of discussion or of the parties involved determine the success of the negotiating process. Consideration of all these three dimensions in negotiation process is mandatory for any successful process.