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Alternative Dispute Resolution and Quaker Oats

Four internal ADR processes have gained acceptance by many organizations (Evans, 1995, p. 56). These four ADR processes are as follows:

1. Open door. Open-door policies allow employees to bring their complaints directly to higher-level management. Typically, such complaints are aired on an informal basis.

2. Peer review. A peer-review panel consists of a mix of rank-and-file employees and managers who are trained in reviewing grievances raised by their fellow employees. The peer review panel holds a hearing and rules on the grievance. Peer review panels have no power to change corporate policy. Such bodies are limited to a determination of whether a policy was followed properly.

3. Ombudsman. An ombudsman is an employee who acts as a confidential resource and facilitator for other members of an organization. The ombudsman hears and investigates problems and concerns that are not readily resolved through other organizational channels. The ombudsman attempts to influence management to act on the complaint and, an ombudsman can recommend changes in systems and processes.

4. Conflict management system. An organizational conflict management system relies on specially trained people to resolve issues through a variety of techniques such as counseling, mediation and team intervention. The goal of a conflict management system is to resolve conflicts constructively before they escalate into full-blown disput


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