This article examines how workers perceive the laws and rules that regulate their workplaces and how these perceptions differ depending on whether one works in an organization with a high level of worker-manager cooperation versus one with a more conventional hierarchy. Using two cab companies as examples, this article explores how these divergent organizational structures generate different grievance cultures that in turn encourage alternate understanding of available choices and appropriate means for resolving such disputes.

This work expands the current sociolegal literature on legal consciousness by focusing on formal and informal workplace grievance resolution and perceptions of workplace conflict. In exploring the critical decision making regarding grievance resolution, this article begins an important discussion about workplace empowerment and legal consciousness. This study uses qualitative methods to examine 33 open-ended interviews. The use of qualitative methods permits a vibrant dialog that illustrates the legal consciousness of the subjects, The subjects' own words reveal their comprehension of rules, regulations, and procedures as well as their individual relationships with the grievance-resolution options in their workplaces.


This is the accepted version of

Hoffmann, Elizabeth A. “Legal Consciousness and Dispute Resolution: Different Disputing Behavior at Two Similar Taxicab Companies.” Law & Social Inquiry 28, no. 3 (2003): 691–716. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1215756.

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