Third Party Intervention

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Third Party Intervention :
Conflict Management In Islam

Mohd Fuad Mohd Salleh, PhD.
Faculty of Business
Universiti Selangor.

The role of third party in conflict resolution has never been refuted. Though conflict can be resolved by those in conflict, often there is a need for a third party intervention. The qualitative case study was used to uncover the effectiveness of Sulh in resolving conflict. The research findings suggested two main criteria for the basis of conflict resolution in Malay married couples: (1) inline with syariah and laws, and (2) mutual agreement. This study also found that in handling sulh negotiation, respondents had used cocus and empowerment as the methods to resolve conflicts. As mediators in the sulh process sulh officers possessed behavioral skills, nevertheless they lacked analogical reasoning skills. Sulh is effective because of it negotiating effectiveness conducted by the Sulh officers. The capability of Sulh officers to assist the conflicting party with religion as a guide in unbias manner show the effectiveness of Islamic knowledge and foundation in resolving conflicts. It implies that the western mediation theories are not all suitable in the Malay society. Mediation has to explore new deminsion that is to merge mediation and counseling. Mediation counseling can be introduced as new theory as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method to resolve conflict. Mediation counseling requires the mediator to play dual functions, as mediator in face to face negotiation and counselor in cocus sesion.

Key word: Sulh, mediation, conflict management.

Introduction
Competetion among peoples cannot be avoided thus conflict is never ending. Competetion exist because of interest, values, actions, status, objectives and other needs. Sometimes competetion is purposly created because of job specification needs (Bisno, 1988). But more importantly is with every problem, crisis, or conflict, there is a possiblity of success and failure. It is important to identify, nurture and harvest the success seeds as it is the responsibilities of the crisis management (Augustine, 2000).

Conflict is natural, not positive and not negative, and it is an effect which cannot be avoided as a result of a natural process for change and development (Messman & Mikesell, 2000). Conflict is a state where interests and objectives of two or more parties are incompetible (Klar, Bar-Tal and Kruglanski, 1988; Thomas, 1976; Schmidt dan Kochan, 1972; Pruitt dan Rubin, 1986; Putnam dan Poole, 1987, in Rhoades, 1999). Conflict is refered to as an existance of a clash between two different interests but cannot be shared (De Bono, 1985 dan Littlejohn, 1988). Social conflict is refered to as a social interaction process constitues a raection to acquire sources, power and status, believe and other interest with limited resources (Bisno, 1988). Negative result in conflict is expected a if there is a party who deal with the conflict using win-lose tactic. Most people and managers had tried to solve problem, crisis or conflict by looking it from their own perspective and understanding without getting a third party opinion. This will result in incomplete and ineffective resolution and conflict will continu to exist (De Bono, 1985). Based on the need of a third party which is unbias, its present is needed to assist the conflicting party to manage the conflict. There are several functions of third party. Part of it is the explorer, who gave assurance to the conflicting parties that winning is not the goal of the other party. Another role played by the third party is reconciler, who provides spaces for improvement. Other functions are unifier, facilitator, legitimator, counselor and mediator (Lederach, 1997). The most acceptable type of third party is mediation where an unbiased individual create a path for the conflicting parties to negotiate to resolve their conflict. Conflict resolution through mediation can achieve higher...
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