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Living with 'ADR': Evolving Perceptions and Use of Mediation, Arbitration and Conflict Management in Fortune 1,000 Corporations

by Tom Stipanowich, J. Ryan Lamare
July 2014

Originally published in 19 Harvard Negotiation Law Review 1 and Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013/16

As attorneys for the world’s most visible clients, corporate counsel played a key role in the transformation of American conflict resolution in the late Twentieth Century. In 1997 a survey of Fortune 1,000 corporate counsel provided the first broad-based picture of conflict resolution processes within large companies. In 2011, a second landmark survey of corporate counsel in Fortune 1,000 companies captured a variety of critical changes in the ways large companies handle conflict. Comparing their responses to those of the mid-1990s, clear and significant evolutionary trends are observable, including a further shift in corporate orientation away from litigation and toward “alternative dispute resolution (ADR),” moderated expectations of ADR; increasing use of mediation, contrasted with a dramatic fall-off in arbitration (except, importantly, consumer and products liability cases); greater control over the selection of third-party neutrals; growing emphasis on proactive approaches such as early neutral evaluation, early case assessment, and integrated systems for managing employment disputes. This article summarizes and analyzes the results of the 2011 Fortune 1,000 survey, compares current data to the 1997 results, and sets both studies against the background of a half-century of evolution. The article concludes with reflections on the future of corporate dispute resolution and conflict management and related research questions.

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SSRN-id2221471.pdf Living with ADR: Evolving Perceptions and Use of Mediation, Arbitration, and Conflict Management in Fortune 1000 Corporations  (SSRN-id2221471.pdf)

Biography


Tom Stipanowich

Thomas J. Stipanowich is William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and Professor of Law at Pepperdine University, as well as Academic Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. The Straus Institute was ranked number one among academic dispute resolution programs each of the last seven years by U.S. News & World Report. He was co-author, with Ian Macneil and Richard Speidel, of the groundbreaking five-volume treatise Federal Arbitration Law: Agreements, Awards & Remedies Under the Federal Arbitration Act, cited by the Supreme Court and many other federal and state courts, which was named Best New Legal Book by the Association of American Publishers. He also co-authored Resolving Disputes: Theory, Law and Practice, a law school course book supplemented by many practical exercises and illustrations on video; the second edition was just published. He is the author of many other much-cited publications on arbitration and dispute resolution, and has twice won the CPR Institute's First Prize for Professional Articles (1987 and 2009)--most recently for "Arbitration: The 'New Litigation.'" In 2008, he was given the D'Alemberte/Raven Award, the ABA Dispute Resolution Section's highest honor, for contributions to the field.

J. Ryan Lamare

Ryan Lamare is an Assistant Professor of Labor and Employment Relations. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and held academic positions at the University of Limerick and the University of Manchester prior to joining Pennsylvania State University . Dr. Lamare’s research interests include: labor and employment arbitration; ADR in the securities industry; the development of ADR systems in organizations; the role of unions in politics; employment relations and HR at multinational companies; and quantitative research methods. He has published extensively on these issues in high-quality journals such as Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Industrial Relations, and Journal of World Business. Dr. Lamare has also worked previously for a non-profit workers’ rights organization, and has held visiting academic appointments in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

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