Professor of Economics and Director, Industrial Relations Center, Iowa State University of Science & Technology, Ames, Iowa. This article is based upon a paper presented at a conference in Atlanta, Ga., under the join auspices of the American Arbitration Association and the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. on March 16-17, 1972.
Volumes have been written about tin subject matter of labor arbitration and the way professional arbitrators resolve grievances. But very little has been said about the subjective procedures by which arbitrators reach their conclusions and how they go about writing persuasive opinions. On the basis of in-depth interviews and correspondence with some of the most successful labor arbitrators, the author found no one "correct" way to approach the final step of opinion composition. Apparently, each works in a manner that suits his own personality. The increase in the volume of the public employment arbitration cases, and the American Arbitration Association's training programs, are bringing new arbitrators into the corps of professionals. It is hoped this study will make them less self-conscious about their work habits, but no less careful of the decisions they arrive at.