April 01, 2013

Research Shows More US Corporations Adopting ADR, Including Ombuds

An updated survey of corporate counsel in Fortune 1,000 companies finds that growing implementation of internal dispute resolution programs. Comparing responses from 1997 and 2011, researchers found a shift away from litigation and arbitration for employment disputes conflicts, and a growing emphasis on proactive approaches such as early neutral evaluation, early case assessment, and integrated systems such as Ombuds.

Although there was an increase in the number of Ombuds programs, the overall implementation rate remained low:
We delved more deeply into our assessment of integrated conflict management systems (which can be seen as one proxy for organizational strategy regarding the handling of workplace disputes) by asking a series of follow-up questions to the respondents. First, we considered the extent to which companies indicated that they employed an ombudsman. Fourteen percent of Fortune 1,000 firms indicated that an ombudsman was employed within their organization. This percentage is considerably higher than that found during the 1997 survey, where only one in ten respondents answered the question in the affirmative. As such, we find a moderate jump in ombudsman presence between 1997 and 2011, even if the absolute number of firms offering this service remains relatively low. (p. 41)
The article was written by Thomas Stipanowich of Pepperdine University School of Law and J. Ryan Lamare of Pennsylvania State University. (Harvard Negotiation Law Review, available from SSRN, via National Law Journal.)

Related posts: Ombuds Offer Insights on Dispute Systems Design; Harvard Negotiation Law Review 2012 Symposium to Feature Ombuds.

1 comment:

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