ERIC Number: ED151892
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Bringing Institutions Down: The "Persuasive" Capabilities of Your Friendly Ombudsman.
Erickson, Eugene C.
Institutions are pervasive phenomena in that they prescribe the boundaries for what individuals can do on a day-to-day basis. The office of ombudsperson has been created in many universities and political units in order to minimize the degree of conflict between individual goals and those of the institution. Three roles for ombudspersons exist: the interpersonal role, which consists of counseling individuals on realities of living such as the importance of clear communication; the due-process role, which involves ensuring the functioning of the institution; and the "change of policy" role, which entails calling attention to the laws and practices that repeatedly cause unjust or improperly discriminatory results. The office of ombudsperson can bring about change because it is independent and powerless, with no inherent stake in outcomes, and because justice is a universally acceptable and desired norm. Although the ombudsperson's work for reform necessarily takes place in the interstices of the institution, it can ensure that the institution's own functions coexist with the creative and self-fulfilling lives of its individual participants. (CC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (69th, Boston, Massachusetts, March 1978)