ABSTRACT

T he way humans and their institutions handle conflict is changing. The alternative [or appropriate] dispute resolution (ADR) movement has

grown from a handful of mediators working in community mediation centers to institutionalized programs in courts, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Interest has grown dramatically in consensus building, facilitation, mediation, and other forms of resolving conflict through assisted negotiation and voluntary settlement. A framework supporting public agency ADR exists in federal statutes and in a growing number of state statutes. Some people speculate that we are seeing a generational shift from command and control to less authoritarian forms of organization and decisionmaking, from vertical forms of hierarchy to horizontal forms of hierarchy.