People at ILR

Alex Colvin
people / faculty

Alexander Colvin

Kenneth F. Kahn '69 Dean
Martin F. Scheinman ’75, MS ’76 Professor of Conflict Resolution
Labor Relations, Law, and History


Alexander Colvin, Ph.D. '99, is the Kenneth F. Kahn '69 Dean and the Martin F. Scheinman '75, 'MS '76 Professor of Conflict Resolution at the ILR School, Cornell University. His research and teaching focuses on employment dispute resolution, with a particular emphasis on procedures in nonunion workplaces and the impact of the legal environment on organizations. His current research projects include empirical investigations of employment arbitration and cross-national studies of dispute resolution. He has published articles in journals such as ILR Review, Industrial Relations, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Relations Industrielles, Academy of Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. He is the co-author of An Introduction to U.S. Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations (w/H. Katz and T. Kochan), Labor Relations in a Globalizing World (w/H. Katz and T. Kochan), The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations (w/W. Roche and P. Teague), and Arbitration Law (w/K. Stone and R. Bales). He is an academic fellow of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Dean Colvin received his J.D. in 1992 from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. in 1999 from Cornell University. He received the 2003 Outstanding Young Scholar Award from the Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA) and the 2000 Best Dissertation Award from the IRRA for his dissertation entitled “Citizens and Citadels: Dispute Resolution and the Governance of Employment Relations”. Before joining the faculty of the ILR School in 2008, he taught at Penn State University from 1999-2008.

Research Statement

Current research projects include an empirical investigation of employment arbitration and a cross-national study of workplace dispute resolution systems in four countries.


Journal Articles

  • Virginia Doellgast, Matthew Bidwell, Alex Colvin. 2021. New Directions in Employment Relations Theory: Understanding Fragmentation, Identity, and Legitimacy, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . (74/3):555-579.
  • John Budd, Alex Colvin, Dionne Pohler, . 2020. Advancing Dispute Resolution by Unpacking the Sources of Conflict: Toward an Integrated Framework, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 73(2):254-280.
  • Mark Gough, Alex Colvin. 2020. Decision-Maker and Context Effects in Employment Arbitration, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 73(2):479-497.
  • Martin Behrens, Alex Colvin, Lisa Dorigatti, Andreas Pekarek. 2020. Systems for Conflict Resolution in Comparative Perspective, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 73(2):312-344.
  • Alex Colvin. 2019. The Metastisization of Mandatory Arbitration, Chicago-Kent Law Review . 94(1):3-24.
  • Alex Colvin. 2016. Conflict and Employment Relations in the Individual Rights Era, Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations . 22:1-30.
  • Alex Colvin. 2016. Strike Ballot Law and Practice in the U.S.: Order without Law in Labor Relations?, Australian Journal of Labour Law . 29(2):243-255.
  • Alex Colvin, Mark Gough. 2015. Individual Employment RIghts Arbitration in the U.S.: Actors and Outcomes, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . (68(5)):1019-42.
  • Alex Colvin. 2014. Mandatory Arbitration and Inequality of Access to Justice in Employment., Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law .
  • Alex Colvin, Kelly Pike. 2014. Saturns and Rickshaws Revisited: What Kind of Employment Arbitration System has Developed?, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution . 29(1):59-83.
  • Alex Colvin, Kelly Pike, . 2013. Beyond Baby-Splitting: Arbitrator Decision-Making Patterns in Employment Cases., Dispute Resolution Journal . 68(2):57-67.
  • Alex Colvin, Owen R Darbishire, . 2013. Convergence in Industrial Relations Systems: The Emerging Anglo-American Model?, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 66(5):1045-75.
  • Alex Colvin. 2013. Participation Versus Procedures in Non-Union Dispute Resolution, Industrial Relations (Berkeley) . 52(s1):221-258.
  • Alex Colvin. 2012. American Workplace Dispute Resolution in the Individual Rights Era, International Journal of Human Resources Management . 12(3-4):459-475.
  • Rosemary Batt, Alex Colvin. 2011. An Employment Systems Approach to Turnover: HR Practices, Quits, Dismissals, and Customer Satisfaction, Academy of Management Journal . 54(4):696-717.
  • Alex Colvin. 2011. An Empirical Analysis of Employment Arbitration: Case Outcomes and Processes, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies . 8(1):1-23.
  • Alex Colvin. 2009. Employment Arbitration: Empirical Findings and Research Needs, Dispute Resolution Journal . 64(3):6-11.
  • Alex Colvin. 2008. Empirical Research on Employment Arbitration: Clarity amidst the Sound and Fury?, Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal . 11(2):405-447.
  • John W. Budd, Alex Colvin. 2008. Improved Metrics for Workplace Dispute Resolution Procedures: Efficiency, Equity, and Voice, Industrial Relations . 43(3):460-479.
  • Alex Colvin, Wendy R Boswell. 2007. The Problem of Action and Interest Alignment: Beyond Job Requirements and Incentive Compensation, Human Resource Management Review . 17(1):38-51.
  • Wendy R Boswell, John Bingham, Alex Colvin. 2006. Employee ‘Line of Sight’ to an Organization’s Strategic Objectives, Business Horizons . 49(6):499-509.
  • Alex Colvin. 2006. Flexibility and Fairness in Liberal Market Economies: The Comparative Impact of the Legal Environment and High Performance Work Systems, British Journal of Industrial Relations . 44(1):73-97.
  • Alex Colvin. 2004. Adoption and Use of Dispute Resolution Procedures in the Nonunion Workplace, Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations . 13:71-97.
  • Alex Colvin. 2004. Mandatory Arbitration and the Reconfiguration of Workplace Dispute Resolution, Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy . 13(3):581-597.
  • Alex Colvin. 2004. The Relationship between Employee Involvement and Workplace Dispute Resolution, Industrial Relations . 59(4):671-694.
  • Alex Colvin. 2003. Institutional Pressures, Human Resource Strategies and the Rise of Nonunion Dispute Resolution Procedures, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 56(3):375-392.
  • Alex Colvin. 2003. The Dual Transformation of Workplace Dispute Resolution, Industrial Relations . 42(4):712-735.
  • Rosemary Batt, Alex Colvin, Jeffrey H Keefe. 2002. Employee Voice, Human Resource Practices, and Quit Rates: Evidence from the Telecommunications Industry, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 55(4):573-594.
  • Alex Colvin, Katherine Van Wezel Stone. 2002. Das amerikanische Arbeitsrecht aus der Perspecktive historische und zukunftiger Entwicklungen [Looking Forward and Backward at American Labor Law], WSI-Mitteilungen . 608-615.
  • Alex Colvin. 2001. Gerechtigkeit ohne Gewerkschaft und Betriebsrat? Konfliktschlichtung in gewerkschaftsfreien Betrieben in den USA, WSI-Mitteilungen . 743-749.
  • Alex Colvin, Rosemary Batt, Harry Katz. 2001. How Human Resource Practices and Industrial Relations Institutions Affect Managerial Pay, Personnel Psychology . 54(4):903-934.
  • Alex Colvin. 1998. Rethinking Bargaining Unit Determination: Labor Law and the Structure of Collective Representation in a Changing Workplace, Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal . 15(2):419-490.


  • William K Roche, Paul Teague, Alex Colvin. 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Harry Katz, Thomas A Kochan, Alex Colvin. 2007. An Introduction to Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations. McGraw Hill Irwin, 2007.


  • Harry Katz, Alex Colvin. 2018. An Introduction to US Collective Bargaining and Inductrial Relations. Ithaca: ILR Press, 2018.
  • Alex Colvin, Harry Katz, Thomas Kochan. 2015. Labor Relations in a Globalizing World: An Introduction Focused on Emerging Countries. in Labor Relations in a Global World: An Introduction Focused on Emerging Countries. Ithaca, NY, United States: ILR Press, 2015.
  • Katherine V.W. Stone, Richard A. Bales, Alex Colvin. 2014. Arbitration Law, third edition. St. Paul, MN, United States: Foundation Press, 2014.

Book Chapters

  • Harry Katz, Alex Colvin. . The United States . in International and Comparative Employment Relations. London: Allen-Unwin, Bamber, Doelgast, Cooke, Wright.
  • Alex Colvin. 2014. Nonunion Grievance Procedures. in The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014. William Roche, Paul Teague, and Alexander J.S. Colvin. (168-189)(Accepted)
  • John Budd, Alex Colvin. 2014. The Goals and Assumptions of Conflict Management in Organizations. in The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014. William Roche, Paul Teague, and Alexander J.S. Colvin. (12-29)(Accepted)
  • Alex Colvin. 2013. Organizational Primacy after the Demise of the Organizational Career: Employment Conflict in a Post-Standard Contract World. in Employment Regulation after the Demise of the Standard Employment Contract: Innovations in Regulatory Design. New York, NY, United States: Russell Sage, 2013. Harry Arthurs and Katherine Stone. (194-210)
  • Alex Colvin, Owen R Darbishire. 2012. International Employment Relations: The Impact of Varieties of Capitalism. in Handbook of International Human Resource Management Research, 2nd ed.. Edward Elgar, 2012. Gunter Stahl, Ingmar Bjorkman and Shad Morris. (52-75)(Accepted)
  • Harry Katz, Alex Colvin. 2011. Employment Relations in the United States. in International and Comparative Employment Relations: Globalisation and Change, 5th ed.. Allen & Unwin, 2011. Greg J. Bamber, Russell D. Lansbury, and Nick Wailes. (62-87)
  • Wendy R Boswell, Alex Colvin, Todd C Darnold. 2008. Organizational systems and employee motivation. in Work Motivation: Past, Present, and Future. New York NY, United States: Routledge, 2008. Ruth Kanfer, Gilad Chen, Robert D Pritchard.
  • Alex Colvin, Brian Klaas, Douglas Mahony. 2006. Research on Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures. in Contemporary Issues in Employment Relations. Champaign IL, United States: Labor and Employment Relations Association, 2006. David Lewin. (103-147)
  • Alex Colvin. 2002. Semi-Institutionalisation in Nonunion Industrial Relations - Challenges and Opportunities for Labour. in Human Resource Development and Workplace Government in the Caribbean. Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle Publishers, 2002. Noel M Cowell, Clement Branche.

Book Reviews

  • Alex Colvin. 2010. Book review in Industrial and Labor Relations Review of "Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown: The Transformation of the Rust Belt." By Sean Safford. . 2010. (359-360)
  • Alex Colvin. 2009. What Do Unions Do? A Twenty-Year Perspective. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2009. James T. Bennett and Bruce Kaufman. (169-170)
  • Alex Colvin. 2005. Book review of Hoyt Wheeler, Brian Klaas and Douglas Mahony, Workplace Justice Without Unions. in British Journal of Industrial Relations. 2005. (323-326)
  • Alex Colvin. 2001. Book review of Saul Rubinstein and Thomas Kochan, Learning from Saturn: Possibilities for Corporate Governance and Employee Relations. in Transfer. 2001. (542-544)
  • Alex Colvin. 1997. Book review of Paul Johnston, Success While Others Fail: Social Movement Unionism and the Public Workplace. in Industrial and Labor Relations Review. 1997. (686-688)
  • Alex Colvin. 1997. Book review of Pradeep Kumar, Unions and Workplace Change in Canada. in Industrial and Labor Relations Review. 1997. (512-513)

Conference Proceedings

  • Alex Colvin. 1999. The Institutional Framework of Dispute Resolution in Canada and the United States: Incentives and Alternatives. in Institutional Transformations in the Regulation of Work Relations. Laval, Canada: Canadian Industrial Relations Association, 1999. (69-82)

Selected Works

Selected Works is a service of BePress Publishing that helps readers follow a scholar's most current work. View Selected Works of Alexander Colvin

Professional Activities

  • Presented to ILR School. Virtual. 2022.
  • The Changing Workplace in Public Schools -- Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice, . Presented to Labor and Employment Research Association. St. Louis, MO. 2016.