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This study examines the resolution of conflict in non-union workplaces. Employee participation in workplace decision making and organizational dispute resolution procedures are two factors hypothesized to influence the outcomes of conflicts in the non-union workplace. The adoption of high involvement work systems is found to produce an organizational context in which both triggering events for conflict, such as disciplinary and dismissal decisions, and dispute resolution activities, such as grievance filing and appeals, are reduced in frequency. Dispute resolution procedures have mixed impacts. Greater due process protections in dispute resolution procedures in non-union workplaces are associated with increased grievance filing and higher appeal rates but do not have significant impacts on the precursors to conflict. This study provides evidence of substantial organizational level variation in non-union conflict resolution, suggesting the importance of expanding the predominant individual and group-level focus of current conflict management research to include more organizational-level factors. It also supports the importance to non-union employee representation of direct participation strategies involving employee involvement in the workplace, in addition to procedures that provide for off-line representation.


Suggested Citation
Colvin, A. J. S. (2013). Participation versus procedures in non-union dispute resolution [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
© Wiley-Blackwell. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Colvin, A. J. S. (2013). Participation versus procedures in non-union dispute resolution. Industrial Relations 52(Suppl. 1), 259-283.