top of page

Academic vs Corporate ombud sector in the American context

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

6 common factors between academic and corporate ombudsperson are:

  1. The definition of the ombuds role and principle. Both professionals use the International Ombuds Association (IOA) code of ethics and Standard of Practice.

The core values are confidentiality, independence, and neutrality and the informal process is the same.

2. The process is the same as visitors coming to the office. The Ombudsperson firstly, share the IOA principle, what the ombudsperson does, and what does not do.

3. The purpose of the value of ombuds office also is the same to see the big picture and identify issues and warning signs for the institution.

4. The questions that they ask the visitor can be the same as well. For instance, What is your problem? What did you bring you here today? Do you trust anybody who can share your situation?

5. What’s more both sector ombuds network helps identify an issue which needs to address and helps to earn the trust of the institution.

6. Type of services that the office can offer to the institution such as mediation, training, making reports, and group facilitation.

3 similarities between academic and corporate ombudsperson are:

It is a thin line between the same and the similarity because it depends on the ombudsperson and the institution’s style, how they integrate the different cultures attributor inappropriate way.

  1. The beauty of this field is that everybody has his/her own style. For this reason, it is impossible to have the same ombudsperson or service at all, but they can be similar.

  2. The communication platform is one of the similarities. The academic ombudsperson uses the phone most of the time and they are really strict about email communication because of the confidentiality aspect. The communication platform extended in the corporate sector with Skype and with the internal platform. Sometimes visitors connected with ombudsperson via Linkedin.

  3. Another similarity is the place of the meeting/appointment, the office. Visitors usually go to the ombuds office in the academic sector during working hours. In contrast, corporate sector meetings can be anywhere such as a coffee shop after work, and a restaurant in extreme cases at the visitor’s home.

The differences between academic and corporate ombudsperson are:

The main difference can be simplified with the HOW question. Differences between academic and corporate sectors.

  • How to communicate with managers?

  • How can the ombudsperson prove the value of the office?

  • How the ombuds office can help to address the issue?

  • How ombudsperson can help the visitors?

  • How can be provided with the confidentiality?

  • How can we build trust?

Because of the institution structure differences, the corporate ombuds office's main goal is to show the reality. In another world, how big is the gap:

  • the company vision or structure and the reality

  • power and balance

  • external= zero-tolerance vs Internal= why isn’t zero tolerance

  • the level of trust

  • speech vs action

  • level of social safety

In other words, less framework and more practice. Be more specific with the company trust that - the social safety - the internal trust can be built and maintained. Ombuds is a supportive function for the CEO/ Managemen and HR to see how the company culture works in reality, not on paper. Ombudsperson shows the systemic problem to improve innovation and employee satisfaction.

4 views0 comments
bottom of page