Lisa Blomgren Amsler

Lisa Blomgren Amsler
Indiana University Bloomington | IUB · O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

JD

About

91
Publications
44,413
Reads
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3,088
Citations
Citations since 2017
9 Research Items
1334 Citations
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Introduction
Lisa Blomgren Amsler (formerly Bingham) is Distinguished and Keller-Runden Professor at Indiana University's O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. A National Academy of Public Administration Fellow and author of Dispute System Design: Preventing, Managing, and Resolving Conflict with Janet Martinez and Stephanie Smith (Stanford University Press 2020), she has published 3 co-edited books and over 120 articles and book chapters on collaborative governance and dispute resolution.
Additional affiliations
August 1992 - present
Indiana University Bloomington
Position
  • Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service
January 1992 - August 2019
Indiana University Bloomington
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (91)
Article
Studies of representative bureaucracy (RB) argue public organizations reflective of the public they serve exhibit better outcomes, especially when serving under-represented groups. RB theory attributes improved outcomes either to the actions representative bureaucrats take (active representation), or a greater perception of trust and legitimacy tow...
Chapter
This article addresses employment arbitration, which is emerging as a controversial method for resolving disputes between employers and employees not represented by a union. Employment arbitration holds great promise as a dispute resolution process for employees who otherwise would never have a hearing on their claims against an employer. However,...
Chapter
Let’s start at the beginning of the yellow brick road that led to the Repeat Player Effect paper. I skipped my senior year of high school to attend a women’s college (Smith) and double-majored in ancient Greek and philosophy, on account of which (cf. Sleepless in Seattle...
Article
How may local government, nested in state government as a creature of state law, effectively engage in collaborative governance? What if it finds itself thwarted by state legislation related to policy solutions that community stakeholders identify through collaborative governance as steps to mitigate climate change? This article examines how state...
Article
Research is limited regarding the type and amount of experience that matters for disputant preferences in dispute resolution processes. The authors focus on a unique federal appellate agency dispute resolution program at the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Participants are professionals with repeat experience who are likely to hav...
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This paper reviews the history of civic education in K-12 schools in the USA and proposes a collaborative governance framework to enhance student voice in higher education.
Article
Purpose Over the 30 years, public management and administration scholars have crossed disciplinary boundaries to build a body of scholarship on collaboration for public good, services, and values. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach Public management and administration researchers need to integrate the scholarship...
Article
The accountability literature refers to forums of accountability, including judicial and quasi-judicial forums. Administrative agencies enforce law and manage conflict, in part, through quasi-judicial processes, such as adjudication and dispute resolution. This is an arena of public management largely missing in the accountability literature. How i...
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Christina Merchant made an important contribution to the field of dispute resolution through her teaching, writing, and training on dispute system design. Using principles of organization development, she brought a new organizational lens to thinking about dispute system design (DSD) beyond collective bargaining and grievance procedures; she looked...
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Public engagement is an umbrella term that encompasses numerous methods for bringing people together to address issues of public importance. In this article, we focus on direct public engagement in local government, exploring what we know and proposing areas where more research is needed. We first define direct public engagement and distinguish it...
Chapter
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On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Memorandum committing to create ‘an unprecedented level of openness in Government’ and ‘a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration’ to strengthen democracy, ensure the public trust, and ‘promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government’ (White House...
Book
Dispute Resolution in the Administrative Process: Evaluation of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Settlement Part Program
Article
This article reviews the results of a 12-year longitudinal research program on transformative mediation of employment discrimination complaints at the United States Postal Service. The research employed mixed methods, including quantitative and qualitative survey methods, interviews, and archival data. This article focuses on how that research exam...
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This study explores the experience of disputant–disputant interpersonal justice in workplace mediation in a public organization. The results show that there are significant differences between employees’ and supervisors’ experiences of disputant–disputant interpersonal justice. Moreover, the results indicate that the quality of participants’ intera...
Article
This report is a summary of the discussions at the Consumer Arbitration Roundtable held at Pepperdine University on February 2-4, 3012 and co-sponsored by Pepperdine School of Law, The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law. It was prepared by members of the Planning Committee.
Article
Federalist No. 51 is another of the most recognizable and important of the Federalist Papers, famously arguing that one first must enable government to control the governed, and then oblige it to control itself. The authors suggest that part of this obligation involves effective collaboration within a system of separate powers. They then ask how th...
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The phrase "mandatory arbitration" has come to refer to binding arbitration imposed by the stronger party on the weaker in an economic relationship through an adhesive contract clause. Critics have identified a series of concerns regarding the fairness of mandatory arbitration systems, including lack of consent, lack of due process, privatization o...
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This article will explore the question of creeping legalism in mediation of statutory disputes arising out of employment. First, it will briefly review the issue of creeping legalism in arbitration. Second, it will introduce dispute systems design (DSD). Third, it will review the analogous debate on legalism in mediation in three design contexts: e...
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This article explores the connections between dispute resolution and the rule of law through two complementary lenses: dispute systems design and collaborative governance. It posits as a working hypothesis that it is possible to design governance as a necessary condition to produce the rule of law by using institutional and dispute systems design (...
Article
This study uses participant exit surveys in a national mediation program for mediation of employment discrimination complaints at the United States Postal Service to compare the role that different categories of representatives (lawyers, union representatives, co-workers, other, or no representation) play in perceptions of procedural justice, settl...
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This article describes and analyzes a new approach to teaching collaborative leadership to masters of public administration students at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. The 3-year-old course teaches students how to design a collaborative network with the necessary players at the table; structure governance for a collaborative group; negot...
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This Article describes the map of statutory administrative law through those cross-cutting statutes that apply generally to all federal agencies. It argues that each major statute represents a balance among five fundamental values in the relationship between the government and the governed, a balance struck by Congress in a particular historical co...
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Does board diversity or representativeness influence organizational performance? Though it is understudied in both the public and the nonprofit sectors, learning more about this critical subject can enhance organizational performance within highly collaborative settings. Community mediation centers, which rely on multiple public and private resourc...
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This article explores the concept of dispute systems design for workplace disputes, focusing particularly on the first two stages: organizational diagnosis and design. It argues that dispute systems should be designed in light of the conflict-related motivations and behaviors of personnel under existing conditions, as well as the likely consequence...
Article
Interest in transformative mediation is growing, yet there are few tools with which to assess mediators' use of the transformative model. This study presents a novel way of examining transformative mediation in practice. It triangulates data from training and screening processes and surveys of both mediators and participants to determine whether me...
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I argue here that we need a comprehensive model to understand emerging uses of collaboration across the policy continuum, and that we need to re-examine our legal framework for policy making, implementation, and enforcement to encompass this new collaborative governance. I take as my starting point the normative assumption that collaboration exists...
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This article describes and analyzes a new approach to teaching collaborative leadership to masters of public administration students at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. The 3-year-old course teaches students how to design a collaborative network with the necessary players at the table; structure governance for a collaborative group; negot...
Article
Full-text available
Control over dispute system design brings with it responsibilities. Some employers have chosen to use that control solely for the purpose of risk management, to alter the settlement value of a discrimination case and render it impossible for an employee to obtain effective recourse from the public justice system through the imposition of mandatory...
Article
This study uses participant exit surveys in a national mediation program for mediation of employment discrimination complaints at the United States Postal Service to compare the role that different categories of representatives (lawyers, union representatives, co-workers, other, or no representation) play in perceptions of procedural justice, settl...
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The fields of institutional design and dispute system design both encompass the human activity of creating new rules, organizations, institutions, and forums to serve various goals related to public policy. However, through these systems, we are also designing justice. The question is, which kind of justice? My purpose with this essay is to raise,...
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Published in new online journal: Minnesota Law Review Headnotes. Mandatory arbitration is a neologism that describes the capacity of an economically stronger repeat player to impose an adhesive binding arbitration clause on the weaker, usually one-shot, player. Such agreements appear frequently as a condition of some economic relationship, most pro...
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This study compares litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in civil cases handled by Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) during the period 1995 to 1998. The findings indicate that that use of ADR can be an efficient and effective procedural solution to the problems of time and cost in the justice system without sacrificing the qu...
Book
Today's public managers not only have to function as leaders within their agencies, they must also establish and coordinate multi-organizational networks of other public agencies, private contractors, and the public. This important transformation has been.
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This article argues that there are two forms of self-determination in dispute resolution, one involving control over process and outcome at the case level, and a second involving control over the disputes system design of which the case is part. Part I of this article reviews the proposed distinction between self-determination at the case level and...
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Purpose This study examines the structure and dimensionality of organizational justice in a workplace mediation setting. It has three purposes: to determine whether the procedural and interpersonal justice factors in the four‐factor model of organizational justice can be split, thereby providing support for a six‐factor model; to identify how the s...
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South Korea, an established industrial economy, has quietly broadened and deepened its democracy, and is presently building new, innovative governance processes into its institutions. This article examines South Korea's implementation of new governance processes, specifically, its growing use of conflict resolution and civic engagement. First, this...
Article
This study explores the tactics and strategies of transformative mediators in practice. Specifically, the study examines the premises, principles, and behaviors of mediators in REDRESS, the United States Postal Service (USPS) employment mediation program. The study is also a process evaluation used to determine whether the REDRESS program is being...
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The new urban governance requires not only tools (like tax incentives and contracts for privatizing government functions), but also new processes to carry the tools into effect, including deliberation and dialogue for making policy and dispute resolution (like negotiation, mediation, and voluntary monitoring) for implementing and enforcing it. The...
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Community mediation programs could be viewed simply as community-based alternatives to court-based adjudicatory systems. Alternatively, they provide broader services and offer deeper benefits as "community-owned" programs that foster citizen participation and democratic governance. However, little research has been conducted on the extent to which...
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This article explores the relationship between the "vanishing trial" and the changing ways in which we think about truth. First, it briefly overviews how we think about knowing what is true: epistemology and the history of philosophy. Second, it looks to the philosophy of science and history of social science for new theories and methods about how...
Article
The United States Postal Services (USPS) has implemented a nation-wide mediation program called REDRESS. The program uses the transformative model of mediation which prohibits the mediator from taking a directive or an evaluative approach in mediation, but instead requires that mediators seek to empower the parties and generate opportunities for re...
Article
Over the past three decades, enormous gains have been made in knowledge about conflict and intervention, and Theory Centers funded by the Hewlett Foundation (at more than twenty universities) have been prominent contributors to those knowledge gains. This article is about what that work has left undone.
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Leaders in public affairs identify tools and instruments for the new governance through networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations. We argue the new governance also involves people—the tool makers and tool users—and the processes through which they participate in the work of government. Practitioners are using new quasi-legislative an...
Article
This study examines the relationship between organizational justice and workplace mediation. Despite the value of using organizational justice to assess the perceived fairness of workplace mediation, there may be some problems with the wholesale application of the traditional four-factor model of organizational justice to such processes. The most o...
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After reviewing the logic and basics of Environmental Conflict Resolution (ECR), this article analyzes the praise for and criticisms of ECR. This article acknowledges the initial successes in the 1970s and 1980s that led to a major period of expansion for ECR, and continues today, but argues that it must do a better job of proving itself. That is,...
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
This paper examines how a disputant's role in a conflict impacts the disputant's perceptions of and satisfaction with transformative mediation. Specifically, it examines evidence of disputants' interactions in the context of transformative mediation for employees and supervisors at the United States Postal Service (USPS). The paper finds that manag...
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Despite claims that ADR offers "better" solutions than traditional approaches (such as the courts), the field of dispute resolution has trouble proving its case. The reason is that we lack baseline data on the effectiveness of both traditional and nontraditional dispute resolution methods. Practitioners and researchers of dispute resolution should...
Article
Historically, researchers in conflict management have used theories of distributive and procedural justice to explain participant satisfaction with dispute resolution processes. Using a large national sample of exit surveys collected from participants in the United States Postal Service (USPS) REDRESS(R) program, the authors show that the procedura...
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This research report reviews some of the highlights of the ongoing longitudinal evaluation of the REDRESS program at the United States Postal Service, the world's largest employment dispute resolution program. These results represent the first systematic data on how a mediation program can function in the workplace setting. This synopsis of the RED...
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This study attempts to contribute to the growing body of field research on organizational use of employment dispute resolution. It examines a natural experiment in mediation of discrimination complaints at the United States Postal Service (USPS) to ascertain whether there is evidence of the efficiency benefits long touted as products of ADR. First....
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This paper argues for a research program examining control over dispute system design and models of mediation to determine how to best structure mediation in court-connected programs.
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This experimental study examined the labor and employment arbitration decisions of four groups of arbitrators: (1) employment arbitrators who resolve disputes involving nonunion employees, (2) labor arbitrators who arbitrate cases in which an employee is represented by a union, (3) arbitrators in the National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA), and (4) s...
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The transformative model of mediation, although well established in the mediation of family and community disputes, is a relatively new approach to dispute resolution in employment settings. In contrast to traditional mediation approaches that focus on problem-solving, transformative mediation seeks to provide opportunities for empowerment and reco...
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The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been engaged in experimentation with various models and forms of mediation for employment discrimination disputes since 1994 This study examines perceptions of procedural justice in a natural field experiment An upstate New York USPS district implemented an inside neutral model of mediation -that is, a mo...
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This Article empirically examines the repeat player employer and the use of personnel manuals, one form of contract of adhesion, in employment arbitration. First, it briefly reviews some of the salient cases that allow for the imposition of arbitration through an adhesive employment contract. Second, it summarizes prior empirical research on employ...
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This study examines employee and supervisor evaluations of their experience with mediation of Equal Employment Opportunity complaints. Using the procedural justice and social account theories, it finds that participants' satisfaction with the outcome of mediation is a function of control over the mediation process, opportunitves to present their vi...
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This study examines a 270-case sample of commercial and employment arbitration awards decided between 1993 and 1994, before the adoption of the Due Process Protocol for Mediation and Arbitration of Statutory Disputes Arising from Employment. It examines employee win rates and outcomes when employers are repeat players, defined as arbitrating in mor...
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With the passage of the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act, Congress intended to expand the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques throughout the federal government in order to counter overjudicialization of the administrative process. A sunset provision and an evaluation requirement were included in the Act. This article presents anal...
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This paper uses 1992 nonunion employment arbitration awards to examine how parties currently use arbitration outside collective bargaining. It presents descriptive data on the costs of arbitration. It compares employer and employee claims, and finds that employees win higher damage awards. Employees recover a higher proportion of the damages they c...
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A private-sector employer in the United States may fire an employee for the employee's political views. During the 1992 presidential campaign, employers required that employees sit through a presidential candidate's stump speech as part of a company-wide captive audience. Employees commented to reporters that they did not feel free to leave. Employ...
Article
In this course, we will explore how public agencies shape and respond to law. We will review the U.S. Constitution, the forms of law, the structure and function of state and federal courts, the legislative process, and statutory interpretation. We will explore other national legal systems as points of comparison. We will then turn to administrative...
Article
With the evolution from government to governance, public management scholars have given renewed attention to forms of organization that cross agency boundaries. In this book, we focus on collaborative public management, and more particularly, on the latest empirical research by some of the top scholars in the field of public management, public poli...

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Projects (2)
Project
Program evaluators have used Procedural and Distributive Justice to judge the success of quasi-judicial agency and court uses of dispute resolution, including forms of mediation, settlement judges, and arbitration. However, agency adjudication and courts provide fora of accountability for government actors and actions. How do we hold these fora themselves accountable? This project brings together public affairs literature on accountability and representative bureaucracy with law and jurisprudence literature on justice. One line of work looks at mediation and adjudication by administrative law judges at the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, which hears appeals from OSHA citations for workplace safety violations. The second line of work looks at the United States Postal Service REDRESS program mediators in discrimination cases in terms representation of race and gender in the mediator roster and perceptions of justice.