Decision-Maker and Context Effects in Employment Arbitration

Mark D. Gough, Alexander J.S. Colvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Using a novel survey of 274 employment arbitrators, this study investigates how decision-maker characteristics and the context of the arbitration proceeding affect employee outcomes. The authors analyze the predictors of settlement before an arbitrator award and, if no settlement is reached, the likelihood that an employee will receive a favorable verdict after a full hearing. Findings show that pre-arbitration dispute resolution procedures, such as mediation, have significant effects on settlement behavior and employee outcomes. The characteristics of the presiding arbitrator as well as the structure of the arbitration proceeding also influence employee outcomes at trial. This study contributes to the existing literature by describing the characteristics of employment arbitrators—an underexplored actor in industrial relations. In addition, it analyzes case outcomes, including settlements, across multiple arbitration forums and with more rigorous controls than those applied in existing data sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-497
Number of pages19
JournalILR Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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