January 10, 2011

Book Highlights Organizational Role of Ombuds

James T. Ziegenfuss, Jr., and Patricia O’Rourke have published a revised edition of their book, The Ombudsman Handbook: Designing and Managing an Effective Problem-Solving Program. The publisher's blurb says that the book, "presents the ombudsman in concept and in practice, offering full design and operational details from start-up to key activities and roles, as well as the benefits for the top executives, the employees and the customers." The book appears to cover the range of Ombuds practice, but especially Organizational Ombuds.

Here are the contents:
Section One: Purpose, Principles and Procedures
1. Human Resources Problems and the Need for Ombudsmen 5
2. Methods for Solving Organizational Problems 16
3. Ombudsmen in Diverse Settings: Distinctions and Similarities 29
4. Problem-Solving 47

Section Two: Implementing an Effective Ombudsman Program: A Guide for Human Resource Managers
5. Designing and Implementing an Ombudsman Program 61
6. Using Authority and Power as Tools for Effective Problem-Solving 85
7. A Day in the Life of an Organizational Ombudsman 96
8. Ombudsman Experiences: Learning That All Problems Are Important 105
9. Value to Top Management 120

Section Three: Information for the Practicing or Aspiring Ombudsman
10. The Ombudsman in the Structure of the Organization 130
11. Ethical and Legal Issues 141
12. Evaluation and Control 154
13. Bottom- Line Benefits of Problem-Solving Programs 164
14. The Future 178

Bibliography 189
Index 201
Ziegenfuss is a management professor at Penn State University and an active consultant. He has written 13 books and more than 150 articles, several of which are about corporate Ombuds. O’Rourke was a patient ombudsman at McGill University Health Centre for 30 years and teaches courses on alternative health care and healing at Concordia University in Montreal. The book is published by McFarland & Co. (The Ombudsman Handbook.)


  1. Maybe this will fill in some of the gaps in Chuck Howard's book on practice issues.

  2. The initial post indicated that this was a second edition. This is incorrect. This is the first book on Organizational Ombuds by Ziegenfuss and O’Rourke.