Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2001

GE's Early Dispute Resolution Initiative (A)

by Michael A. Wheeler and Gillian Morris

Abstract

GE's chief litigation counsel sought to rationalize litigation flow by viewing it as a manufacturing process. By applying the principles of Six Sigma, P.D. Villareal created an Early Dispute Resolution (EDR) system that enabled both lawyers and managers to work together to address potential disputes early and efficiently. Though the savings in time and energy were tremendous and obvious, evaluating the financial savings proved trickier. Also on the horizon was the challenge of spreading the program throughout the enormous GE global organization.

Keywords: Corporate Governance; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Lawsuits and Litigation; Six Sigma; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Problems and Challenges; Conflict and Resolution; Energy Industry; Technology Industry; United States;

Citation:

Wheeler, Michael A., and Gillian Morris. "GE's Early Dispute Resolution Initiative (A)." Harvard Business School Case 801-395, June 2001.