An arbitrator in the industrial or industry context refers to a neutral third party who is selected to resolve disputes between entities such as businesses, labor unions, and employees. The role of an arbitrator is crucial in industries where contractual disagreements, employment disputes, or conflicts over business practices need to be resolved outside of traditional court systems.


Arbitrators are often experienced professionals with expertise in specific areas such as law, business, or the industry relevant to the dispute. They are chosen by the disputing parties to conduct a fair and impartial hearing, evaluate the evidence and arguments presented, and make a decision that is usually binding on all parties involved.

The arbitration process is preferred in many industries due to its confidential nature, speed, and cost-effectiveness compared to litigation. Arbitrators help ensure that disputes are settled in a way that is legally compliant and fair, considering the industry standards and practices pertinent to the case at hand.

Application Areas

Arbitrators are utilized in various sectors within the industry:

  • Construction: Resolving disputes related to contracts, delays, or quality of work between contractors, suppliers, and clients.
  • Manufacturing: Settling disagreements over supply chain issues, product quality, or partnership agreements.
  • Technology: Handling conflicts related to intellectual property rights, licensing agreements, or service delivery.
  • Labor Relations: Arbitrating between employees or labor unions and management on issues such as wages, working conditions, and contractual disputes.

Well-Known Examples

In the industrial context, arbitrators might handle cases such as:

  • A dispute between a manufacturer and a supplier over the quality of raw materials supplied.
  • A disagreement over the terms of a merger or acquisition between two tech companies.
  • Labor disputes where unionized workers contest changes in their employment terms dictated by management.

Treatment and Risks

Engaging an arbitrator involves several considerations:

  • Selection of Arbitrator: It's crucial that the arbitrator is mutually agreed upon by all parties and is perceived as unbiased.
  • Costs: While typically less expensive than court litigation, arbitration can still be costly, especially if multiple sessions are needed or if the arbitrators are highly specialized.
  • Binding Decisions: Decisions made by arbitrators are generally binding and have limited scope for appeal, which means parties must be willing to accept the arbitrator's decision as final.

Similar Terms

  • Mediator: Unlike an arbitrator, a mediator assists parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution but does not issue a binding decision.
  • Conciliator: Similar to a mediator, a conciliator helps parties reconcile their differences and come to an agreement, but they may play a more active role in the proposing terms of settlement.
  • Judge: A legal professional who presides over court cases, whereas an arbitrator handles disputes outside of court.


Arbitrators play a vital role in resolving industrial disputes efficiently and privately, providing a binding resolution based on their expertise and the specifics of the case. This method of dispute resolution is integral in maintaining business operations and relationships in various industries.


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