From postal to peaceful: Dispute systems design in the USPS REDRESS® program

Tina Nabatchi, Lisa Blomgren Bingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


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 consequences of each design choice on their future motivations and behaviors, including incentives to participate in the new system.These assertions are illustrated with an in-depth case study of Resolve Employment Disputes, Reach Equitable Solutions Swiftly (REDRESS®), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employment mediation program. The case study shows that the organizational diagnosis stage was critical to the successful design of the USPS program in that it provided important information about the dispute behaviors of personnel in the existing system. In turn, this information helped the USPS understand how various design choices would affect individual incentives to participate the future REDRESS® system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-234
Number of pages24
JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Dispute systems design
  • Employment disputes
  • Organizational conflict
  • Workplace mediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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