Customer value theory and dispute resolution strategy

  • Alex Nicholson Sheffield Hallam University
Keywords: customer value;, strategy;, dispute resolution, litigation, commercial awareness


Legal education within common law jurisdictions traditionally prioritises doctrinal and adversarial approaches. There is a strong emphasis on case law and statutory materials, which students are required (often from memory) to critically apply in order to identify and articulate solutions to complex legal problems. However, following significant changes to the legal and higher education sectors in recent years, there are now growing calls for such approaches to be supplemented by fresh perspectives which can prepare law graduates more fully for modern professional life, whether they ultimately go on to practise law or not. This paper presents the findings of an interdisciplinary, theoretical study which explored the application of customer value theory to modern dispute resolution strategy in a private law context. It is argued that customer value theory: (1) offers explanatory insight into the nature of dispute resolution strategy itself; and (2) has significant potential to enhance the effectiveness of such strategies in a given context. Accordingly, it is further argued that the inclusion of this and similar perspectives within the modern law degree would complement its longstanding and important doctrinal content and enhance the employability value of such programmes.