AuthorHarrison, Tyler Ronald
AdvisorMorrill, Calvin K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe tremendous growth of internal organizational grievance mechanisms, including the use of ombuds, has not been met with an equal increase in research. Currently, little is known about the functioning of these grievance mechanisms. This dissertation presents an empirical study of an academic ombud. Using normative pragmatics and a social context approach to disputing as an analytic framework, 50 disputants who pursued grievances through an academic ombud were interviewed at various stages of the disputing process. This study offers a processual account of disputants' experiences with the dispute process by combining interview data with multi-perspectival analyses (member checks, artifacts) and triangulation with quantitative survey data. Additionally, design features of the ombud office are examined for their ability to achieve the goals of the office given the context of the dispute. The study concludes that the flexibility of the ombud is a strength for dealing with the varied grievances brought to the office. Disputants are generally satisfied with the process, and have a restored sense of faith in the organization having gone through the ombud. The social context of academics, however, prevents the ombud process from reconciling relationships between disputants. The study further concludes that any design of disputing systems must take into account the social context of tile disputing arena. The framework generated by combining tile study of design features with social context provides researchers and practitioners a more productive way of analyzing and designing disputing systems.
Degree ProgramGraduate College