When you run an international business, it could be a rocky ride. Not only it takes longer to settle your business, but you could also land yourself in disputes. Solving disputes with stakeholders in a global area are quite complicated because laws and compliances differ from one country to another. Hence dispute resolution forms an integral module in business strategy courses.
Before we tell you how you can manage these disputes, let’s first identify the issues which cause a conflict of interest:
- Quantity, quality, price, payment and logistics of products
- Agents, distributors, suppliers and vendors
- Compliances and legal permissions
- Unlawful operations
- Intellectual property rights, copyright and trademark
The above list is inclusive but not exhaustive. Depending on the nature and size of your business, the disputes may vary.
While the first step to avoiding disputes is to take all necessary precautions and follow every protocol that the country in which you are doing business has laid down. However, still if the disputes arise, you can resolve them in the following manner:
Mediation is an informal process by which the parties in conflict try to resolve their issues with the help of a third party. A mediator or a negotiator acts as a neutral third party who tries to understand the issue from all perspectives. He will listen to every claim or defence laid down by both parties and find common ground to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. This method is generally preferred to avoid the possible delays, expenses and inconvenience of dispute resolution through courts.
You can say that arbitration is a process which meets court and mediation mid-way. The parties in conflict appear in front of arbitrators to provide testimony and evidence. It is a private, confidential procedure that can be undertaken only if both parties agree. The decision given by arbitrator is final and both parties have to accept it. There are individual arbitrators as well as institutional arbitrators who can manage disputes in this manner.
Both parties may choose to resolve the dispute on their own by laying down their terms of negotiation. Usually, this process takes quite long because both parties struggle to arrive at a common decision. However, if they don’t want to bring their issue in the public or legal eye, negotiation is an advisable way to go about it.
Most companies file a legal case only as a last available option or if the gravity of situation demands. Depending on the nature of the case, it may take weeks to years to resolve the dispute.
It is advisable to get global business certification to know about all dispute resolution methods in detail.