ADR Through a Cultural Lens: How Cultural Values Shape Our Disputing Processes
Journal of Dispute Resolution, No. 2, pp. 289-321, 2005
Posted: 5 Dec 2009
Date Written: 2005
I discuss how cultural value patterns, and in particular dominant American cultural values, are reflected in the three primary dispute resolution processes in the U.S.: litigation, arbitration, and two styles of mediation (community/facilitative mediation and court annexed/evaluative mediation). I describe how American values associated with litigation, especially individualism and universalism, have exerted a strong pull on the "alternative" processes - arbitration and mediation - and made them more like litigation. I also argue that other dominant American values not associated with litigation, including internal locus of control and low power distance are reflected in community/facilitative mediation, making it the "true alternative."
Keywords: culture, cultural value patterns, ADR, mediation
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