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Defining Research Ethics

Defining Research Ethics

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Published by Tarun Gautam

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Published by: Tarun Gautam on Aug 02, 2012
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Submitted By: Abhishek Gupta 11DCP055

Ashwini Kumar Sharma 11DCP106
Joseph Thomas 11DCP076 Mayank Gaur 11DCP081 Nikhar Gupta Tarun Gautam 11DCP084 11DCP100

 Introduction  Problems associated with access

 Strategies to gain access
 Research Ethics  Two views of ethics  Case Summary  Case Discussion

Aware of issues related to gaining access and

research ethics. Able to evaluate a range of strategies to help you to gain access to organizations and to individual participants. Able to anticipate ethical issues at each stage of your research process, to help you to deal with these. Able to evaluate the ethical issues associated with particular data collection methods.

. Insufficient attention may therefore be paid to gaining access and even less to the likelihood of ethical concerns arising in relation to the conduct of the research project.INTRODUCTION Access and ethics are critical aspects for the conduct of research. These are aspects that require careful attention at the outset of any research project.

. The first level of access is physical access or entry. related to objectives and strategy. Gaining physical access can be difficult for number of reasons.  The appropriateness of a source will of course depend on your research question.PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCESS Ability to collect data will depend on gaining access to their source or to appropriate sources where there is a choice.

 The organization may find itself in a difficult situation owing to external events totally unrelated to any perceptions about the nature of the request or the person making. so that they have no choice but to refuse access. voluntary activities because of the time and resources required. .PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCESS Why gain physical access is difficult?  Organizations or individuals may not be prepared to engage in additional.  The request for access and cooperation may fail to interest the person who receives it.

.PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCESS Physical access to an organization will be formally granted through its management. Access may also refer to your ability to select a representative sample of organizational participants in order to attempt to answer your research question and meet your objectives in an unbiased way and to produce reliable and valid data.

A request to undertake research may involve you seeking access to a range of participants based on an organizational sample .PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCESS The extent to which feasibility will affect the nature of your research. or at least the approach that you adopt.

STRATEGIES TO GAIN ACCESS Summary of strategies to gain access Allowing yourself sufficient time Using existing contacts and developing new ones Providing a clear account of purpose and type of access required Overcoming organizational concerns about the granting of access .

STRATEGIES TO GAIN ACCESS Summary of strategies to gain access Identifying possible benefits to the organization in granting you access Using suitable language Facilitating ease of reply when requesting access Developing your access on an incremental basis Establishing your credibility with intended participants .

Ethical concerns will emerge as you plan your research. collect. seek access to organizations and to individuals. . analyze and report your data. or are affected by it.RESEARCH ETHICS Definition Ethics refers to the appropriateness of your behaviour in relation to the rights of those who become the subject of your work.

never as a means only). Do to others as you would have them do to you. It is close to Kant’s Categorical Imperative (Always act so as to treat humanity. . whether in your own person or that of another.TWO VIEWS ON ETHICS The Deontological view The ends of the research never justifies unethical behaviour. as an end in itself.

However. maybe the means become more acceptable than otherwise. if it is a matter of life and death. . but for whom?). hedonism. Related philosophies: utilism.THE TELEOLOGICAL VIEW The ends serves by your research justify the means (weighing benefits against costs.

ETHICAL ISSUES AT SPECIFIC STAGES OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS Ethical issues during the design and gaining access Ethical issues during the data collection stage Ethical Issues associated with data processing and Storage Ethical issues related to analysis and reporting .

ETHICAL ISSUES DURING THE DESIGN AND GAINING ACCESS Never put pressure on intended participants to grant access Never access personal data about individuals who have not consented to you Participant should know the correct reason of research Researcher should not use deception with participants at any stage .

ETHICAL ISSUES DURING THE DATA COLLECTION STAGE Researcher should not ask anything from participants that will cause harm or intrude their privacy. . Fabrication of any data is unacceptable and unethical course of action.

Use of the Internet and email during data collection will lead to the possibility of serious ethical or netiquette issues The relatively greater level of control associated with qualitatively based research methods should be exercised with care so that your behavior remains within appropriate and acceptable parameters .

ETHICAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH DATA PROCESSING AND STORAGE Personal data should be finely protected. trade union membership etc . political opinions. Further category of personal data: Racial/ethnic origin. You should instead seek advice that is appropriate to the particular circumstance of your research project where this involves the collection and processing of personal data. religious.

ETHICAL ISSUES RELATED TO THE ANALYSIS AND REPORTING STAGES The maintenance of you objectivity will be vital during the analysis stage to make sure that you do not misrepresent the data collected. . Embarrassment and even harm could result from reporting data that are clearly attributable to a particular individual.

REVISION OF SOME COMMON ETHICS Privacy of possible and actual participants. Consent and possible deception of participants . Voluntary nature of participation and the right to withdraw partially or completely from the process.

Reactions of participants to the way in which you seek to collect data Effects on participants of the way in which you use. . analyze and report your data Behaviour and objectivity of the researcher.Maintenance of the confidentiality of data provided by individuals or identifiable participants and their anonymity.

who invested large amounts in small. young businesses. Research question : “To what extent and why do Business Angels become involved post investment in the companies in which they have invested?” Stephanie already knew that Business Angels liked to remain anonymous. researched Business Angels.CASE SUMMARY Stephanie during Undergraduate studies. .

using intermediaries. before being able to reach the Business Angels. . Stephanie wanted to get access to the Business Angel Networks first.Potential Investees and Researchers have two ways of gaining access to Business Angels: meeting a Business Angel and getting referred to his/her acquaintances.

Subsequently. where she would discuss her research with the respective Business Angel Network managers face to face. promoting her research to all the member Business Angel Networks. Stephanie was asked to write a short news item for their monthly newsletter. she wanted to distribute her research questionnaire to those Business Angels who were members of the network. She wanted to attend a number of investment events. .

She focused on three distinct aspects: Detailed document prior to the telephone conversation. professional and polite at all times. .Stephanie started by telephoning the Business Angel Network managers and applied the skills and techniques she had learned whilst working at call centre. so that she would not forget anything Researching the specific Business Angel Network.

Due to Stephanie’s persistence and professional manner.Stephanie asked the respective Business Angel Network manager if she could send her or him a brief email summarizing the main points of their conversation. . and good preparation. most Business Angel Networks’ managers agreed to distribute her questionnaire to their Business Angel members. perfectionism. She stuck to the same principles: Professionalism.


QUESTION 1 Which factors helped Stephanie getting access to these organizations? highly sought- after .

POINTS TO PONDER Prior knowledge in the field. Persistence and professional manner Communication skill .

QUESTION 2 What problems did Stephanie face in the access negotiation stage of her project? How did she overcome these? .

She kept the conversations professional and polite. She kept the transparency in the complete process explaining each of the Angels her aim of the research and convincing them. . Possibility of rejection for research.POINTS TO PONDER Anonymity of the Angels. She had prior connections within the network. Authenticity and accuracy of the information.

QUESTION 3 What access negotiation techniques has Stephanie applied in her project? .

POINTS TO PONDER Using prior contacts and developing new contacts through them. Establishing creditability. . Professional and polite communication. Facilitating replies.

QUESTION 4 What are the downsides of these access negotiation techniques? .

.POINTS TO PONDER  Actual distribution of questionnaire was not in her hands.  The managers were not all receptive of this research.  Managers were wary of their secrecy and were reluctant to share.  No organization or references which could prove the credibility of Stephanie and her research.  Success of this technique relies heavily on the communication and professional skills of Stephanie.


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