IOA Research & Assessment Committee

About this Committee & Their Mission

Established in late 2014, the purpose of this committee is to enhance our practice through filling the research and assessment gap. The committee also supports research and assessment to promote excellence in organizational ombuds (OO) professional development, to study ombuds practices with the intent not only to understand what ombuds do but also, over time, to improve practice (knowledge and skills) of experienced and new ombudspersons based on research findings.

Committee Priorities 

Participants

Chair

  • Shannon Burton, Associate University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University

Board Liaison

  • Alicia Booker, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Committee Members

  • Hector Escalante, University of the Pacific and Earthjustice
  • Jennifer Schneider, University of South Florida
  • Linda Brothers, National Institutes of Health
  • Mary Rowe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Sloan School of Management
  • Shereen Bingham, the University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Timothy Hedeen, Kennesaw State University
  • Tyler Smith, Northeastern Illinois University
  • Tiffany Chen, Eastern Michigan University

IOA Practice & Compensation Survey

Practice & Compensation Survey Sub-Committee Members

  • Hector Escalante, University of the Pacific and Earthjustice
  • Tim Hedeen, Kennesaw State University
  • Mary Rowe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Sloan School of Management
  • Jennifer Schneider, University of South Florida

IOA is committed to expanding our profession and documenting the value of organizational ombuds worldwide. The biennial Practice and Compensation Survey provides an important snapshot of the contemporary field of organizational ombuds based on responses from members of the International Ombuds Association (IOA) who were practitioners at the time of taking the survey.

In 2020, this committee invited IOA members who were practicing ombuds as of December 31, 2019, to participate in our Practice & Compensation Survey. In total, 235 out of 780 eligible members participated in the survey. Their responses have been aggregated into the IOA 2019 Practice & Compensation Report (member login is required to view).

Review Past Reports

(Member login is required to view the above link.)

Non-Members are invited to Purchase Practice & Compensation reports for $75.

Purchase Reports

2022 IOA Practice Survey

Now Closed

It’s time once again for the IOA Practice Survey! If you were a practicing organizational ombuds on 31 December 2021, we hope that you will take a few minutes to complete this important survey. 

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Current Research Agenda

The Current Research Agenda covers three primary areas: The Ombuds Profession, Ombuds Practices, and The Ombuds Professional with eight research goals detailed below:

THE OMBUDS PROFESSION

Research Goal 1: To Examine How Ombuds Demonstrate and Communicate Value

  • Evidence of ombuds office value/benefits/impact/effectiveness
  • Communicating about and marketing ombuds office value
  • Perceptions and expectations of the ombuds office
  • Why organizations adopt and maintain an ombuds office (or not)
  • Functions of the ombuds within a conflict management system
  • Hiring and performance appraisal methods of ombuds

Research Goal 2: To Better Understand the IOA Standards Of Practice (SOP) and Code Of Ethics (COE) 

  • How ombuds adhere to and deviate from the SOP
  • How ombuds balance inherent tensions within the SOP
  • The meaning and functions of the SOP within and across different sectors
  • How use of the SOP and COE is supported and enforced

Research Goal 3: To Assess the Development and Health of The Ombuds Profession

  • Development, growth, and durability of the profession IOA’s role and influence
  • Prevalence of ombuds positions and offices Impact of laws and policies
  • The global ombuds profession

OMBUDS PRACTICES

Research Goal 4: To Explain How Ombuds Carry Out Their Work

  • Specific practices with visitors and other parties
  • Providing upward feedback Working with systemic issues and initiatives
  • Dealing with challenging cases
  • Managing dual roles
  • Navigating legal and policy challenges
  • Working with principles of fairness, justice, advocacy, and activism
  • Variations in practices around the world

Research Goal 5: To Describe How Ombuds Gather, Use, and Report Data

  • Record-keeping practices
  • Practices in tracking issues and other case information Use of data to identify issues new to the organization, patterns and trends
  • Preparing and distributing reports

Research Goal 6: To Determine How Ombuds Build Collaborative Relationships in Their Organizations and Profession

  • Ombuds supporting and connecting with each other
  • Collaborating with other roles, professions and resources Interacting and collaborating with organizational leadership.

THE OMBUDS PROFESSIONAL

Research Goal 7: To Explore the Development, Identity, Characteristics, And Skills of Ombuds

  • Educational preparation, training, and professional background
  • Continuing education and professional development
  • Identity and characteristics of ombuds
  • Skills and abilities of successful ombuds
  • How ombuds perceive themselves and evaluate their own work
  • Resilience and self-care methods
  • How and why people enter and exit the ombuds profession

Research Goal 8: To Examine the Nature and Scope of The Ombuds Role And Position

  • Issues ombuds help address
  • Ombuds role in the organizational system
  • Role variations in different organizational contexts
  • Caseload and workload
  • Functions and services provided

2018 JIOA article on process


To Join the Committee

If you are interested in joining this or any other committee, please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to learn more about available positions and complete our Volunteer Interest Form.

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