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What Does a Dispute Resolution Specialist, an Arbitrator and a Mediator Do?


Question: What Does a Dispute Resolution Specialist, an Arbitrator and a Mediator Do?


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*Dispute resolution - attaining tacit or contractual agreements - has become increasingly important as parties to a dispute attempt to avoid costly litigation, strikes, or other disruptions. Dispute resolution also has become more complex, involving employees, management, unions, other firms, and government agencies. Specialists involved in dispute resolution must be highly knowledgeable and experienced, and often report to the director of industrial relations.

Conciliators, or mediators, advise and counsel labor and management to prevent and, when necessary, resolve disputes over labor agreements or other labor relation's issues. Arbitrators, sometimes called umpires or referees, decide disputes that bind both labor and management to specific terms and conditions of labor contracts. Labor relations specialists who work for unions perform many of the same functions on behalf of the union and its members.

Other emerging specialists include international human resources managers, who handle human resources issues related to a company's foreign operations, and human resources information system specialists, who develop and apply computer programs to process personnel information, match job seekers with job openings, and handle other personnel matters.

*Information is reprinted from the Occupational Outlook Handbook.


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