This article proposes that dispute in the workplace is the best illustration of the loss of equanimity boundaryless employees experience in their work environment, and further, that dispute systems design necessitates a power neutralizing approach for mediating struggles caused by power disparity present in today's private employment relationships. To that end, my goal is to provide an employee-centered perspective of self-regulated employment policy in America, and to demonstrate the degree of conflict (and eventual disputation) such policy creates for boundaryless workforces. Ultimately, I make the case for an evolved dispute resolution process more able to manage power disparity in modem private workplace issues. My reasoning is based on the view that "organizational structure affects interpersonal dynamics, the languages of power, and available means and procedures" 9 for addressing that power. Therefore, Part II analyzes current trends in the self-regulating workplace by comparing cooperative enterprise models with the structures of boundaryless corporations. Part III evaluates the new workplace for evidence of democratization in the private sector. Part IV addresses the self-regulating, or "self-help," framework of values found in the new workplace. Part V contrasts the self-regulating framework of values with conventional goals of deliberative workplace democracy. Part VI describes the ease with which conflict is created in the power-based environment of today's private sector. Finally, Part VII makes the case for an evolution in dispute resolution theory toward the practice of mediating issues of power disparity as a deliberative function of workplace dispute resolution design. Efforts in this regard are somewhat hazardous since the topic of mediating power imbalance touches on strictly taboo practices in the field of conventional facilitative dispute resolution.1° However, with global changes in employment dynamics omnipresent in today's private enterprise environments, mediating issues involving power imbalance is a practice whose time has necessarily come. Winning over the mediator practitioner, though, most likely requires an instructive "big picture" overview of the boundaryless employment experience, starting with a survey of corporate trends affecting employees in the self-regulating American workplace.
Employees Losing Power, Losing Jobs: Making the Case for Mediating Power in the Era of Buy-ins and Bailouts,
10 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol10/iss3/5