"My role as Global Procurement Director for a Top 30 Global Corporation often puts me in the line of fire for dispute resolutions involving transportation claims, contract abrogation, documented or undocumented responsibilities and rights, etc. Forty years of Negotiation practice or arbitration hearings have delivered somewhat predictable results.
Although the richest rewards may arise for professional conflict managers such as attorneys, psychologist and sociologists I would like to further endorse the values of Hans Boserup’s teachings for application in the global corporate world. Hans suggests that the mediator might be more effective if different mediation styles are recognized and practiced instead of relying upon a known and comfortable skill set practiced and rehearsed. The styles adopted, may be determined by the way the parties behave and communicate more than to the nature of the dispute itself and along the process the mediator may shift from one style to another following the gradual change in the parties.
In my corporate world it is possible to apply Generic, Settlement-driven, Cognitive-systemic, Transformative, Humanistic and Narrative mediation styles if you basically believe that corporations can act like human beings and must envision a larger reality than the myopic world all-to-easy to adopt amid great complexity.
Classic negotiations include mediation practices like enlarging the size of the pie to be divided, knowledge of BATNA/WATNA, etc. However exiting a negotiation event may not include the sustainability and innovation possibilities that Boserup’s book helps us achieve. The “magic” is in the micro dynamics added to the process by the mediator or the negotiator. Hans became aware of the greater mediation possibilities years ago and has transformed the evolution of the practice for many new applications. I am suggesting that Global Corporate governance could be a huge beneficiary with subsequent dividends for justice as well.
Russell E. McKnight – Director, Global Logistics Procurement – Johnson Controls, Inc."
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