Toward a Strategic Theory of Workplace Conflict Management
Lipsky, David B.; Avgar, Ariel C.
[Excerpt] In this article, we propose a new model or theory of conflict management that we believe not only incorporates lessons we have learned about the use of ADR and conflict management systems in the workplace but also includes a critical dimension missing in earlier research, namely, how ADR and the use of systems links to the organization's broader strategic goals and objectives. The model we propose here we call the "strategic theory" of conflict management. In social science terms, the legalistic theory uses some measure of dispute resolution outcomes (such as the settlement rate in mediation or the win rate in arbitration) as a dependent variable, a measure of the availability or use of an ADR technique (such as mediation or arbitration) as a key independent, explanatory variable, and a measure of litigation or the threat of litigation as another independent, explanatory factor.
alternative dispute resolution; ADR; conflict management systems; strategic theory; legalistic theory
Required Publisher Statement: © Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Avgar, A. C., & Lipsky, D. B. (2008). Toward a strategic theory of workplace conflict management. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 24(1), 143-190.