The management at Bellows Inc. is faced with a strike threat from union members over a dispute concerning working hours for empl
oyees. The disputing parties approach a neutral third party to ensure that the discussions between them are moving forward. The third party, however, has no formal power over union representatives or over management. Which process is best exemplified in the scenario?
Based on the scenario being described within the question it can be said that the process that is being exemplified in this scenario is known as mediation. This term refers to bringing in an impartial third party in order to assist two disputing parties towards resolving a specific conflict between them. This third part does not necessarily need to have any formal power but must be impartial in order to provide their unbiased opinion.
When a neutral third party gets involved in a collective bargaining dispute involving unions, it can be either a mediator or conciliator depending on the stage of the negotiations.
In this case, since the problem hasn't escalated yet to a strike or or a lockout, the third party involved is a conciliator. Generally a conciliator is called to help the company and the union to reach an agreement before things get complicated.
If the conciliator is not successful, and things start to get messy, then you have to call a mediator. Which can actually be the same person, but just as a medical examiner is a doctor that looks at dead people while a MD treats living people, a mediator gets involved once the fight starts while the conciliator tries to avoid it.
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