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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship of Ombudship and Leadership in Complex Organizations
by Conger, Mary Bliss, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019, 234; 13903480
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study explores the nature of positive relationships between organizational ombuds and organizational leaders. It focuses on success case examples of relationships between ombuds and leaders, utilizing interviews with ombuds (7), interviews with leaders (2), and document analysis across seven different institutions. The purpose of the study was to reality test an idealized model of the ombud-leader relationship implied by the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice in order to identify and, where possible, fill in the gaps between that model and actual lived experience. Key findings of the study include: (a) the extent to which system-wide relationships of all kinds are vital to an ombud’s work; (b) the primacy of trust in positive ombud-leader relationships; (c) the importance and challenge of establishing credibility in these relationships; (d) the many sources of power ombuds utilize in their work; and (e) the use of executive presence as a framework for understanding how ombuds might position themselves to be viewed as credible agents in the shared activity of leading complex organizations. The results of this research provide insight into how some ombuds and leaders have successfully worked together in the past to the benefit of their organizations, and suggest ways in which all ombuds and leaders might conceptualize and operationalize their work together going forward.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lytle, James H.
Commitee: Hartley, J. Matthew, Gadlin, Howard
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Educational leadership
Keywords: Complexity, Ombud, Ombuds, Ombudsman, Systems leader, Systems leadership
Publication Number: 13903480
ISBN: 9781085651806
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