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Alternative Dispute Resolution: Home

Resources on arbitration, mediation, and other dispute resolution techniques.


Arbitration room

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a term that encompasses arbitration, mediation and other dispute resolution techniques. Often used as an alternative to litigation, ADR generally refers to a dispute resolution processes in which the parties meet with a professional third party who helps them resolve their dispute.

It was during the 1970s that the acronym ADR was coined. First emerging in the legal profession, driven by the concern over the perceived litigation explosion, the concept grew to include other means of conflict dispute resolution, including ombudsmen and mediation.

The focus of this guide is the use of alternative dispute resolution in U.S. employment relations. Particular attention is paid to the use of arbitration and mediation in unionized settings, both public and private.

Keywords: alternative dispute resolution, ADR, conflict resolution, conflict management, mediation, arbitration


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ILR Research Team
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Cornell University
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