Business Research Ethics

Business Research Ethics

Chapter 4

Doing Research in the Business World

David E. Gray

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Session Objectives

After this session you will be able to:

Define what we mean by ethics

Explain why ethics are now so important to organizations and individuals undertaking research

Describe why adopting an ethical approach to research is important

Describe how ethical principles are of benefit to sound research design

Apply an ethical framework to your own research design and practice

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

What do we mean by ‘ethics’

The moral principles guiding research (ESRC, 2004)

Sets of moral principles or norms that are used to guide moral choices of behaviour and relationships with others (Blumberg, et al, 2005)

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Summary of ethical stances

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Summary of Nuremberg Code

Voluntary consent of the human subject is essential

Experiment should yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature

Experiment should be so designed on a knowledge of the problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.

Experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury

No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur

The degree of risk should never exceed the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment

Adequate facilities should be provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death

The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons

The human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation seems to him to be impossible

The researcher must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, that a continuation is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Typical research involving ethical risk

Vulnerable groups – such as children and young people, those with learning disabilities or special needs

Sensitive topics – for example, sexual or illegal activities, or people’s experience of abuse or violence

Subjects can only be accessed via a gatekeeper – for example, some ethnic or cultural groups

Element of deception such as covert observation used without a participant’s full or informed consent

Access to confidential records or information

Activities leading to stress, anxiety or humiliation amongst target groups

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Ethical principles

Ethical principles, then, fall into four main areas, namely, the need to:

Avoid harm to participants (and producing benefits)

Ensure informed consent of participants

Respect the privacy of participants

Avoid the use of deception

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Avoiding harm to participants

Research will be considered harmful if it causes a participant to be

Embarrassed

Ridiculed

Belittled or generally subject to mental distress

Anxious

Stressed

Subject to negative emotional reactions

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Informed consent

Researcher should provide information on:

The aims of the research.

Who will be undertaking it.

Who is being asked to participate.

What kind of information is being sought.

How much of the participant’s time is required

That participation in the study is voluntary.

That responding to all questions is voluntary.

Who will have access to the data once it is collected.

How anonymity of respondents will be preserved.

Who should it be returned to and by when

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Respecting privacy

Respondents must give informed consent

Respondents have the right to withdraw at any time

Data (in electronic and manual forms) must be kept securely

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Avoiding deception

Best achieved by being open and transparent about the research including:

Its objectives

Methods

Uses

Role of respondent, including time and any other commitments

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Checklist of ethical issues

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC

Research ethics refers to the moral principles guiding research, conducting research in a responsible and morally defensible way

Any research involving the study of human populations can involve ethical considerations but particularly research that deals with vulnerable groups, and/or involves sensitive topics that could cause distress or anxiety or involves any element of deception

Central to the principles of research are that it should: avoid harm to participants, ensure informed consent, respect the privacy of participants and avoid deception

Summary

Insert your presentation title here

Los Angeles | London | New Delhi

Singapore | Washington DC


Comments are closed.