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Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Voice in Workplace Resolution Procedures

John Budd () and Alexander J. S. Colvin ()

Working Papers from Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus)

Abstract: Systems for resolving workplace disputes are very important to workers and firms, and have been the subject of much debate. In the United States, traditional unionized grievance procedures, emerging nonunion dispute resolution systems, and the court-based system for resolving employment law disputes have all been criticized. Much of the existing debate on workplace dispute resolution, however, has been atheoretical, with a focus on techniques of dispute resolution rather than the goals of the system. What is missing from the debate are fundamental standards for comparing and evaluating dispute resolutions systems. In this paper, we develop efficiency, equity, and voice as these standards. Unionized, nonunion, and employment law procedures are then evaluated against these three standards.

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