Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dispute Domians - Part 2

Part 1 of this entry was posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dispute domains are the relational frameworks of conflict interaction.* From a biblical perspective, it is possible to identify 12 dispute domains, using a dual concern model of relationship orientation and conflict interaction structure (click on visuals to enlarge them).

Relationship orientation can be broken into three broad categories, using biblical terminology: brother, neighbor, and enemy. The term brother identifies a close, fraternal relationship and should not be confused with the blood relative. Neighbor refers to others toward whom one acts congenially and even lovingly, strangers though they may be. Enemy stands for those so designated, either intentionally or not, by our not-so-loving attitudes and behavior.

Conflict interaction structure refers to the specific setting we adopt
for addressing a specific conflict issue (or set of issues). These settings range from informal to formal. For example, more informal possibilities are spontaneous and planned communication. Communication is planned if it begins with a stated intention to address a conflict issue. Mediation and arbitration appear on the more formal end of the scale. Arbitration refers to those settings wherein conflict is adjudicated by a third-party, be it a church board, a congregation, or a court of law. Mediation describes settings wherein a third-party assists conflict principals with resolution. For example, counseling or the involvement of mentors are categorized as mediation.

Plotting the three relationship orientations against the four conflict interaction structures will yield a dual-concern model with a total of twelve dispute domains. For example, the first dispute domain, in the lower left, is brother/spontaneous, followed by brother/planned, followed by brother/mediation, et Al.

In my next post, I will explain the properties associated with the twelve domains, along with how to re-locate conflict from one to another.

© 2009 Randal L Gilmore All Rights Reserved

*For more on Gale Miller and James Holstein's work see Dispute Domains and Welfare Claims: Conflict and Law in Public Bureaucracies (1996).


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