Date Published: Mar 31, 2001
Source: 
Negotiation Journal
Authors: 
Bourdeaux, C., O'Leary, R., & Thornburgh, R.
Volume: 
17
Issue: 
2
Page Numbers: 
175-191

Two decades after pioneering the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques, practices, and processes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has emerged as the leader among federal agencies. As such, the EPA provides a useful setting for testing conventional wisdom and theories about alternative dispute resolution. This essay takes data collected as a part of an assessment of the agency's enforcement ADR program and examines how well it reflects or illuminates current theory and conventional wisdom about conflict resolution. In particular, we examine why parties to a dispute choose ADR, and the key elements needed for the successful resolution of environmental conflicts, including the dynamics between the parties at the table and mediator characteristics. (Journal abstract)