Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA)


JIOA 2017 Articles


Reflections on a Team Approach to an Ombuds Office
Melanie Jagneaux, Bonnie Bonnivier, Josie Stiles, & Michael Mayer

This paper presents reflections on a team approach to an organizational ombuds office for an international corporation headquartered in the US. The authors briefly review the establishment of the office, present descriptions of each role on the team, and reflect on experiences and lessons learned. The authors submit that their team approach to ombuds work has empowered the team to fulfill its purpose in rounding out the company’s integrated conflict management system; has enhanced the quality of ombuds services to individuals; has enabled effective reporting and recommendations for systemic improvements; and has enriched each member of the team. The authors hope that this paper encourages additional dialogue about the team approach to an ombuds office.

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Personal Reflection: How the Ombudsman Role Changes the Practitioner
Jan Newcomb & Dawn Duquet

This article presents the reflections of two practitioners who built an enduring friendship while serving together as board members of the Corporate Ombudsman Association. They were asked to review their personal experiences, focusing on how the ombudsman role had changed them. After much contemplation and drafting separate articles they discovered that, although their individual experiences were unique, their personal development was remarkably similar.

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An Invitation from the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association
JIOA Editorial Board

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Ombudsing in the New Era
Shannon Lynn Burton

Many ombuds offices arose in times of unrest, incivility, and questions about individual rights and responsibilities. Today is no different. As ombuds enter an era where individuals seem to be losing the ability to dialogue, this article examines how ombuds might lead the way in reestablishing connection among individuals and groups. Through the lens of Planned Happenstance Theory, it argues that the history of the profession uniquely positions ombuds to take action.

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Reimagining the Role of the Organizational Ombuds
Wayne Blair

This article expands the 2016 IOA Annual Conference’s Mary Rowe Honorary Keynote Address, “Reimagining the Role of the Organizational Ombuds.” It asserts that ombuds should be thought of as transformational leaders. Using a real case example, it contends that making connections and understanding consequences from the ombuds’ unique vantage point is a form of risk assessment and change management that should be integral to our work. The article also argues for an activist interpretation of the ombuds role and its potential to shift individual ombuds and the profession at large from a transactional to a transformational orientation.

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About the JIOA

The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA) is a peer-reviewed online journal for scholarly articles and information relevant to the ombudsman profession. As members of a relatively new profession, we continually strive to understand, define and clarify the role and function of the professional organizational ombudsman.

The JIOA will help foster recognition that what we do for our agencies, corporations, colleges, and universities is worthy of study. While we must vigorously protect the confidentiality of our interactions, we can still study and be studied to understand what we do and how we do it; what works well and what doesn't work; what our options are; how social, technical and legal changes may impact us; what the profile and career development of ombudsman professionals might be, and other matters of interest.

The JIOA can facilitate a greater interest in ombudsing, enhance our professional standing, and serve to give us a better understanding of our dynamic roles and the impact on our institutions and agencies. The Journal also will allow IOA members, other ombudsmen, and other professionals to reach out to their colleagues with their ideas, research findings, theories, and recommendations for best practices and to engage in ongoing discussions of critical issues.

Learn more about the JIOA and the manuscript submission process.

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If you have any questions about the JIOA please contact the co-editors via email at [email protected].

  • Howard Gadlin, National Institutes of Health, Retired
  • Shannon Lynn Burton, Michigan State University
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