Current Research Projects

List of CRCN research projects and their areas of focus. Provides results of these research areas

International joint venture workshop

International Joint Ventures

Our work in this area focuses on U.S.-Chinese joint ventures. Case studies of several of these IJVs are available. Models relating control structure to performance in ninety U.S.-Chinese JVs have been developed and tested using survey data. Research is investigating how internally and externally-induced changes influence structure and performance of the joint ventures. A second survey is currently being administered to over 600 joint ventures in the PRC.

Workshop members sitting at tables

Multiple projects are underway in this arena. Consultation is being provided to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on effective techniques for resolving complex environmental disputes. The Environmental Framing Consortium, comprised of researchers from seven universities and headed by Penn State, is examining how parties frame the issues involved in intractable environmental disputes. One of the sites the CRCN team is studying is Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. With support from the Hewlett Foundation, we have been interviewing community members, environmentalists, park, and local officials about this long-standing dispute over the park's management and following the general management planning process that the Park currently has underway. In May 2000 we conducted community workshops to share our research findings and to try to help heal some of the conflicts that limit the Park's viability.

Evaluation of Mediation

CRCN pioneered the development of an education program for separated parents in our local court system. All parents involved in custody litigation as well as those filing for divorce with minor children must attend a four hour program designed to help them learn how to best help their children during this significant change in their lives. The program's success has resulted in its serving as a model for replication in other courts. Over 500 parents have participated to date. In the area of community policing, CRCN conducted a survey of 300 police officers on their handling of domestic disputes and on their knowledge/use of conflict resolution skill and mediation. The survey focused on the efficacy of training and the application of alternative dispute resolution processes for certain kinds of domestic disputes.

Conflicts in Agriculture

At the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, we are working with faculty from the College of Agriculture and the Ag-Law Center at Dickinson School of Law to design a community dispute resolution process for use in conflicts over concentrated animal feedlot operations (CAFOs). When these operations have attempted to open in several Pennsylvania communities, they have engendered considerable community conflict. In this project we are currently interviewing stakeholders in these disputes to learn what kind of alternative dispute resolution process might be beneficial for resolving these conflicts.

Multi-party Collaboration

CRCN has historically spearheaded research on factors that promote and hinder cross-sectoral collaboration in a number of different arenas ranging from education, to health care to the environment. This research has resulted in numerous publications (see recent publications list) and serves as the basis for training programs on collaboration, collaborative leadership and multiparty negotiation skills.

Coalition Bargaining

With a grant from Fuji-Xerox Corporation researchers from Penn State and Harvard Business School are examining how communication channels affect coalitional bargaining. They are using bargaining experiments for this research.

Social Identity Affects on Fairness Perceptions in Firms Undergoing Downsizing

Scenario studies are being used to investigate the impact of social identity and diversity on reactions to corporate downsizing. We have found that one's social identity plays a major role in how survivors evaluate the fairness of downsizing efforts.

Bargaining Experiments

Research in this area considers a diverse array of theoretical and applied problems. Developing models of the negotiation process, researchers can predict the outcomes of bargaining processes. One project has been considering the effect of communication structure on coalition formation and payoff allocation within coalitions. Another project under consideration, in conjunction with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is the effect of making offers public on prices in thin markets, a follow-up to an earlier study conducted in 1998.

Anger in Organizations

In the summer of 1999 we began a new project to study how anger is handled in organizations. This study involves researchers from 6 universities who are building a joint data base on the antecedents and consequences of anger in organizations.