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An Uncertain Destination: On the Development of Conflict Management Systems in U.S. Corporations

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[Excerpt] Our survey and field research have led us to some tentative conclusions that do not conform to the conventional wisdom of our field. From its inception, ADR has been controversial. On the one hand, ADR has been embraced by a coterie of "champions" who have always believed that its advantages over litigation were so obvious and compelling it would only be a matter of time before ADR was adopted universally. These champions have also been missionaries, proselytizing their faith in all quarters and making numerous converts. Like all true believers, ADR champions cannot understand why others have not yet "gotten the faith." On the other hand, there has always been a group of ADR opponents who believe ADR undercuts our system of justice and must be resisted. ADR champions believe in the inevitability of ADR, while ADR opponents believe the movement to ADR can be stopped and even reversed. On balance, we believe in ADR's merits and share many of its champions' convictions. Our research — which is based on the analytical model we present in this paper — suggests, however, that there is nothing inevitable about the ultimate triumph of ADR.

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2004-01-01

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alternative dispute resolution; ADR; conflict management; industrial relations

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Required Publisher Statement: © Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Lipsky, D. B., Seeber, R. L, & Hall, L. (2004). An uncertain destination: On the development of conflict management systems in U.S. corporations. In S. Estreicher & D. Sherwyn (Eds.) Alternative dispute resolution in the employment arena: Proceedings of the New York University Fifty-Third Annual Conference on Labor (pp. 109-151). New York: Kluwer Law International.

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