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Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh, "Working with Corporate Culture: Best Practices for Attorneys in Business," Willamette Law Review (Forthcoming 2020)

Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh's article, "Working with Corporate Culture: Best Practices for Attorneys in Business," will be published in the Willamette Law Review (forthcoming 2020). The article defines corporate culture, as separate and apart from organizational culture, introduces a theory on how corporate culture impacts legal decision-making, and provides attorneys in businesses with best practices to work within and around established corporate culture policies.

Abstract of "Working with Corporate Culture: Best Practices for Attorneys in Business"

While culture is understood as an influential element within the field of alternative dispute resolution, rarely are the cultures of individual companies given proper consideration in the assessment of a dispute. A vital subset of culture which permeates every aspect of a company is a distinct corporate culture, defined by the specific values, operating mechanisms, and organizational environment cultivated by corporation's leadership. Corporate culture is an indicator of (1) whether parties will be willing to pursue ADR in the first place, (2) how the ADR process, if utilized will function, and the (3) the longevity of an agreement, if it is reached.

Thus, it is prudent for a mediator, arbitrator or negotiator to consider how a particular corporate culture views ADR strategy before embarking on an ADR path. Developing an understanding of a particular corporate culture may involve attorneys getting to know the corporate leadership, business model(s), purpose, as well as observing daily operations, meeting with employees at various levels, and creating an organizational map. Naturally, this adds to the time and expense for the client, however in the long-term, hiring attorneys who understand a particular corporate culture, fosters ongoing partnerships, improves trust and decision-making, and expedites the resolution process in future conflicts.