September 04, 2018

IOA Announces Research Agenda for Ombuds Profession

The International Ombudsman Association has created a guide for future research of the professional. A committee appointed by the IOA Board of Directors has published an article, "The Research Agenda for the Organizational Ombuds Profession: A Living Document," which outlines eight new goals.

Here's the abstract:
The Research and Assessment Committee of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) was charged by the Board of Directors to create a research agenda for the ombuds field. The agenda is intended to serve as a guide for future initiatives within the IOA related to research, outline the research priorities of the IOA for outside entities, and establish research as a fundamental value to the field of ombuds work. A Research Agenda Subcommittee formed to take on this project and develop a qualitative survey to identify the research interests of IOA members. The subcommittee distributed the survey to all current members, and eighty five of them completed it. Analysis of the data resulted in eight major research goals supported by 42 specific research areas. This article establishes the importance of the research agenda for the IOA, explains the methodology used to create it, explores areas of inquiry underpinning each of the eight research goals, and discusses implications for the advancement of research on organizational ombuds.
The identified goals are:
  1. Examine how ombuds demonstrate and communicate value;
  2. Better understand the IOA Standards of Practice (SOP) and Code of Ethics (COE);
  3. Assess the development and health of the ombuds profession;
  4. Explain how ombuds carry out their work;
  5. Describe how ombuds gather, use and report data;
  6. To determine how ombuds build collaborative relationships in their organizations and profession;
  7. To explore the development, identity, characteristics, and skills of ombuds; and
  8. To examine the nature and scope of the ombuds role and position.
The article was written by the Research and Assessment Committee: Shereen G. Bingham (Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha and University Ombuds); Tyler S. Smith (Associate Ombuds at the National Institutes of Health); Shannon Lynn Burton (University Ombudsperson at Michigan State University); and Danita Elkerson (Associate Ombuds at the Department of Justice). (Journal of IOA.)

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