Introducing IOA's New Book

The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & The Future


Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D. Michigan State University

Loraleigh Keashly, Ph.D. Wayne State University 

Publisher:  International Ombuds Association

Organizational Ombuds first appeared in North America in the 1960s as an offshoot of classical ombuds practices rooted in Northern Europe.  While there have been many publications that address organizational ombuds practice in the form of articles and journals, as well as publications that serve as legal guides to practice (Howard, 2010), there has yet to be a comprehensive handbook that addresses the interdisciplinary and nuanced history, theory and practices found within the field.

This book provides a holistic look at the work of organizational ombuds, including its historical roots, theoretical approaches in the field, sectors in which it is practiced, its organization and delivery, as well as the future of the field. Those outside of organizational ombuds often relegate it to an alternative dispute resolution function. 

However, it is, in fact, a much more diverse practice that stretches organizational structures, communications, human development, systemic problems, and concerns, as well as conflict resolution. To comprehend the whole of organizational ombuds practice, both researchers and practitioners must have a solid footing as to what constitutes the field. This book hopes to provide just that.


  • Preface – Mary Rowe
  • The History of Organizational Ombuds Practice - Shannon Lynn Burton & Ryan T. Smith
  • Ethical Ombudsing: Principled Parameters for Ombuds Decision-Making – Linda M. Brothers
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Ombuds Space – Julie Boncompain, Brent Epperson, Diedrick Graham, McGhee Peggs, 
  • Legal Issues for Organizational Ombuds Practice – Caroline Adams
  • Academic Organizational Ombuds – David G. Schwartz, Anna-Katharine Rothwangl, Jorge Pereia
  • Governmental Ombuds - Emma Phan, Paul Sotoudeh
  • Corporate Organizational Ombuds - Kira Nurieli, Ellen Reardon
  • Emerging Sectors in Ombuds Practice - Natalie C. Fleury, Thomas A. Kosakowski
  • Models of Organizational Ombuds Practice – Jennifer Mahoney
  • Organizational Engagement and Relationships – Donna Buehler, Elizabeth Hill
  • One-to-One Practices in Organizational Ombuds Practice – Julia L. Farmer
  • Systemic Feedback in Organizational Ombuds Practice – Mary Bliss Conger
  • Ombudsing Virtually - Jared Lee/Julie Muroff
  • Data, Tracking, and Case Management for the Organizational Ombuds – Brett Hathaway Harris
  • Model Programs in Organizational Ombuds Training – Esther Eunjin Lin
  • Current Issues in Organizational Ombuds Research - Shereen G. Bingham, Shannon Lynn Burton, Tyler Smith
  • Meeting the Needs of Tomorrow’s Organizational Ombuds’ Visitors - Darlene Moorman
  • Anticipating Changes in Organizational Ombuds Practice - Elisa Ortega-Schultz
  • And More