For readers unfamiliar with this position, an organizational ombudsman is a senior-level administrator who is granted an independent, neutral role to facilitate the resolution of interpersonal disputes and to engage in institutional troubleshooting. IOA’s membership is a mix of ombuds from colleges and universities (its largest group), government, and private industry, as well as independent consultants.
The speaking invitation gave me a chance to address and interact with several hundred attendees about the challenges posed by workplace bullying. Based on the responses, clearly these issues present themselves frequently in their practices. My own remarks, a mix of “workplace bullying 101” and observations & advice specific to ombuds, were followed by a lively and informed Q&A session.
In addition, at least two other programs at the conference (which continues through Wednesday) are devoted to workplace bullying, showing once again how this topic is entering the mainstream of contemporary employment relations.
I’d like to thank the IOA and fellow attendees for this invitation and for their warm introduction to the organization. I regret that I was unable to stay for the entire conference, because I so enjoyed the day I was able to spend with them. Special thanks to ombuds Lisa Witzler, conference co-chair and my primary IOA liaison, for her guidance in preparing a talk that would be useful to IOA members.
Extended outline of keynote address
Conference attendees and others can access an extended outline of my keynote address, “Responding to Workplace Bullying: The Role of the Ombudsman,” here.
On organizational cultures
During the Q&A, I recommended a piece by Drs. Linda Hartling and Elizabeth Sparks on organizational cultures. You can access a past blog post about it here, which includes a link to ordering the article.
2010 IOA journal issue
The IOA’s journal devoted an excellent package of articles to bullying behaviors in its 2010 issue, which can be accessed here.
Workplace bullying and ethical leadership
Especially for IOA members who may be visiting this blog, my 2008 article, “Workplace Bullying and Ethical Leadership,” may be of interest. It can be accessed here.