Complementarities in Organizational Dispute Resolution Systems: How System Characteristics Affect Individuals' Conflict Experiences
In 1999-2000, a Canadian national government agency pilot-tested different employment dispute resolution systems (DRSs). The author analyzes how DRS characteristics in this natural quasi-experiment affected employees' approaches to conflict management, their attitudes toward conflict at work, and their rate of success in resolving conflict. A system that added negotiation training to a rights-based grievance procedure, she finds, was actually associated with worse conflict-related problems than a system consisting solely of a rights-based grievance procedure. In contrast, the joint use of a rights-based grievance procedure, negotiation training, and an interest-based neutral generated greatly improved outcomes. The author attributes the superior performance of a three-component DRS to complementarities among the components.