No Sheriff in Town

Governance for Online Dispute Resolution

Noam Ebner, John Zeleznikow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Online dispute resolution (ODR), the practice of resolving disputes via the Internet or digital applications, has been developing since the mid-1990s. As the field has grown and gained traction, it has increasingly received attention from professional associations and industry leaders in the world of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). More recently, it has begun to receive recognition from sources outside of this field — in both the public and private sectors. As the field develops and individual initiatives become widely adopted, the attention it receives from external sources will undoubtedly focus on questions of quality, ethics, practitioner training, service provider qualifications, and monitoring. These questions — already beginning to be heard from within the field — derive, in essence, from one shared overall question, that of appropriate governance for the ODR field. In this article, we will explain what we mean when we discuss a field's governance and suggest that the field itself should investigate issues of its own governance. We explore and explain the current “low-to-no” state of governance in ODR — and the developments that are likely, should the field fail to actively address this issue. We discuss the costs of no governance, and the potential costs and disadvantages of employing a higher-governance model. We ask whether ODR can, indeed, be governed at all, and illustrate why addressing ODR governance is a very complex venture, in terms of the web of factors to be addressed, no matter how beneficial internal governance may be. We do not, in this article, intend to decide any of these questions — but, rather, to pose them to the ODR field and to the wider fields of ADR and conflict management. We point out why the ODR field is at a developmental point that is highly suitable for discussing and deciding these questions — and why these decisions might have far-reaching implications for a wide range of conflict-related fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-323
Number of pages27
JournalNegotiation Journal
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

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town
governance
Costs
Internet
Monitoring
Industry
Dispute resolution
Governance
conflict management
professional association
costs
qualification
service provider
private sector
public sector
moral philosophy
leader
monitoring
industry
World Wide Web

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

No Sheriff in Town : Governance for Online Dispute Resolution. / Ebner, Noam; Zeleznikow, John.

In: Negotiation Journal, Vol. 32, No. 4, 01.10.2016, p. 297-323.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ebner, Noam ; Zeleznikow, John. / No Sheriff in Town : Governance for Online Dispute Resolution. In: Negotiation Journal. 2016 ; Vol. 32, No. 4. pp. 297-323.
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