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Ethics in Business Research

What are Research Ethics?

Ethics are norms or standards of behavior that guide moral choices about our behavior and our relationships with others The goal is to ensure that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from research activities

Ethical Treatment of Participants

Begin data collection by explaining to the participant the benefits expected from the research Explain to the participants that their rights and well-being will be adequately protected, and say how this will be done

Deception should be avoided

Deception(dis honesty) occurs when the participants are told only part of the truth or when the truth is fully compromised. Two reasons suggested for deception are:
To prevent biasing the participants before the survey or experiment; and To protect the confidentiality of a third party (e.g., the sponsor)

Following should be informed before proceeding with survey

Introduce yourself. Brief description of the survey topic. Geographical area of the respondents and target sample. Sponsors name. Describe purpose of research. Time estimate for completing the interview Promise anonymity and confidentiality (when appropriate). Tell the interviewee that participation is voluntary. Tell the participant that item-non response is acceptable. Ask permission to begin.

Rights to Privacy
All individuals have a right to privacy, and researchers must respect that right. Privacy is more than confidentiality.
A right to privacy means one has he right to refuse to be interviewed

or to refuse to answer any question in an interview.

To address these rights, ethical researchers do the following

Inform participants of their right to refuse to answer any question or participate in the study. Obtain permission to interview participants.

Schedule field and phone interviews.

Limit the time required for participation. Restrict observation to public behavior only.

Ethics and the Sponsor: Confidentiality

Some sponsors wish to undertake research without revealing themselves. They have a right to several types of confidentiality including
Sponsor non-disclosure Purpose non-disclosure Findings non-disclosure

Right to quality research

An important ethical consideration for the researcher and the sponsor is the sponsors right to quality research. This right entails:
Providing a research design appropriate for the research question. Maximizing the sponsors value for the resources expended. Providing data handling and reporting techniques appropriate for the data collected.

Ethics Related to Sponsor

Sometimes researchers will be asked by sponsors to participate in unethical behavior. To avoid coercion by sponsor the researcher should:
Educate sponsor to the purpose of research Explain researchers role Explain how distortion of the truth leads to future problems If necessary, terminate relationship with sponsor

Ethical Issues related to Researchers and Team Members

Safety Ethical behavior of assistants Protection of secrecy