Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Video conferencing could help resolve conflicts at work and at home

12.10.2007
The latest video technology could help to resolve conflicts between employees at work, neighbours or even family members, researchers from the University of Bath,UK, believe.

At present, conciliators and mediators from organisations such as Acas are called in to help tackle hundreds of thousands of serious conflicts each year, ranging from disputes between employees or between management and unions, to violent breakdowns in relations between neighbours and family members.

Leon Watts and Matt Billings, of the University’s Department of Computer Science, believe that video conferencing will become more common now that the spread of broadband has allowed good quality video and sound to be created and shared.

They believe the technology could be useful because it has more potential for social and emotional communication than the telephone, but cuts out the chance that one or both disputing parties are intimidated by the other’s physical presence.

“Video can help in two ways,” said Dr Watts. “Most of the conciliation to sort out disputes between employees is done by phone because for the conciliator, who may have as many as 70 or 80 cases to deal with at once, it can be difficult, costly and slow to arrange to see people in person.

“In situations of high conflict, it can be hard to get to the real issues, to judge what people really care about, on the phone. So using a video link, in which the conciliator can in addition see each of the disputing parties, is a step forward: it gives them a new options for appreciating parties’ depth of concern about different issues.

“But video is more than just a way of improving on the telephone. It could be part of a new strategy for conciliation, in that once the parties have met separately with the conciliator and there is some solid common ground, they can set up a video conference as an intermediary stage before a full meeting of all parties face-to-face.

“For instance, one of the disputants may have a physically intimidating presence – something that cannot be projected as easily in a video link as in a face-to-face meeting - so this can make negotiation easier.

“In this way video conferencing forms another tool for conciliators and mediators.

“Disputes between team members in companies or between neighbours or within families can be vitriolic and acrimonious, so any way that conciliation can be helped is useful.”

He said that the latest technology allows much better quality images than the jerky first webcams could, and disputing parties can be given a camera and the appropriate technology for their computer, so they can set up the video link.

This would help independent and impartial organisations in their work with people to help them see new possibilities for moving forward and to settle their disputes.

Matthew Billings interviewed 12 experienced conciliators for their views on how they would feel about using video technology, and most thought that not being able to see the parties’ body language would hinder their work. At present videoconferencing is not used in conciliation in the UK.

But when a highly experienced conciliator took part in a mock dispute, with actors playing the part of aggrieved parties, she found it was a surprisingly similar process to normal conciliation.

“The conciliator was much more relaxed about using video after the trial,” said Mr Billings. “We think that the conciliation profession will be interested in the potential of this technology.”

Dr Watts and Mr Billings are now planning to work with a conciliation training organisation to inform conciliators about the potential of video conferencing.

Tony Trueman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2007/10/11/video-disputes.html

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Between filter bubbles, uneven visibility and transnationality
06.12.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>