Resolution of retributive conflicts

Thomas Saaty
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Pittsburgh
United States

Publication date: Jun, 1986

Journal: IFAC Proceedings Volumes
Vol.: 19- Issue: 8- Pages: 91-94

Abstract: In prolonged confrontations, known here as retributive, the parties not only exact their own demands but also want to incur a high cost on the opponent. Success in resolving a conflict is measured by the gain: each party's benefits and the costs to the opponent compared with the perceived gain for that opponent. Each attempts to maximize this efficiency ratio. Each party must derive actual costs and benefits from two concession hierarchies and its perceived benefits and costs from two other hierarchies. Thus they each have four hierarchies which they then use to evaluate the four kinds of benefits and costs using the Analytic Hierarchy Process with its ratio scale estimation and comparison of intangibles and tangibles. A negotiator must deal with these eight hierarchies plus additional ones of his own. The theory has been applied to the conflict in South Africa. The author has been invited to demonstrate the procedure in seminars in several cities in South Africa next fall. It has also been applied to the Punjab conflict in India and to the free trade negotiations between Canada and the United States.

Keywords: Conflict resolution, Analytic Hierarchy Process, AHP, Tangibles, Intangibles