The Game Theory Applied in Mediation

Mediation word in wooden cubesGame theory is the science of conflict and cooperation in a situation. Such theory addresses two situations. The zero-sum game, on the one hand, refers to one party winning and the other party losing. On the other hand, the non-zero sum game refers to one party winning but the other party not necessarily losing. Mediation supports the theory of non-zero sum game.

For this reason, some companies like Littleton Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc. prefer class action mediation over litigation.

The non-zero sum game situation

Both sides can benefit in non-zero sum situation. Also known as “win-win” situation, a compromise is made between the parties. More often than not, when guided by a mediator, both parties benefit well. Both parties strive for each of their own desired payoffs. As both have an awareness of each other, each can consider the other’s situation in the decision-making process.

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Absent locking of horns

When both sides of the conflict have their attorneys facing each other, their nails are sharpened enough for confrontation. This way, the most gain is being sought for by each opposing side. However, in most cases of mediation, each party is faced with separately. This decimates the aggression level to lower levels.

Unique solutions

Solutions must be unique enough for the desired win-win situation. Many mediations occur in labor cases. Such cases are more specific. Knowledge of employment law must be present. In most situations, creative solutions must be presented by the mediator coupled with his or her expertise to make both sides more satisfied than their current situation. In some cases, mediators apply risk analysis. For example, rather than bringing the issue to court where one will face significant financial and emotional stress, most mediators propose settlements.

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Also, complicated problems must have in-depth assessments. Such assessments are made possible by a mediator’s expertise and experience. Likewise, it must be more than enough to produce reliable solutions.