Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA)

JIOA 2019 Articles

Interpersonal Conflict and Academic Success: A Campus Survey with Practical Applications for Academic Ombuds
Phoebe Morgan, Heather Foster, and Brian Ayres
6 June 2019

A team of student researchers supervised by a certified organizational ombuds surveyed the interpersonal conflict experiences of 106 undergraduates on a university campus that offers limited ombuds services to students. While a small minority of respondents reported disputes about university policies or disagreements with university personnel, nearly all (90%) reported conflicts with other students within a year of the survey. Intimate relationships (i.e., friends, roommates, and romantic partners) accounted for the majority of the conflicts. While most claimed the conflicts mentioned in the survey did not seriously impact daily life, 70% said the conflicts negatively impacted their academic efforts. About one-third of those who reported having a conflict said they had sought the assistance of a third party, and 25% of those who did so turned to a faculty member for help in dealing with conflicts with other students. When asked to rate the importance of various qualities of third-party assistance, respondents felt a trained volunteer would most likely facilitate a satisfactory resolution. Despite the small sample size and the limitations of the data collection design, the results suggest a range of practical applications for academic ombuds.

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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].

  • Shannon Lynn Burton, Michigan State University
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