Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Video Conferencing Could Help Resolve Conflicts At Work And At Home

Date:
October 12, 2007
Source:
University of Bath
Summary:
The latest video technology could help to resolve conflicts between employees at work, neighbors or even family members, according to researchers. At present, conciliators and mediators 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.

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


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bath. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bath. "Video Conferencing Could Help Resolve Conflicts At Work And At Home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071011102635.htm>.
University of Bath. (2007, October 12). Video Conferencing Could Help Resolve Conflicts At Work And At Home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071011102635.htm
University of Bath. "Video Conferencing Could Help Resolve Conflicts At Work And At Home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071011102635.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Google is changing its search-engine results to protect content producers from piracy — for a price. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins