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Module 2.

1
Ethical Issues in Business
Research
•Ethics in business research is the
accepted codes of conduct in
carrying out the research activity.
•Ethical issues involved in business
research can be studied from three
different angles.
i) Ethics in the treatment of
the respondent
ii) Ethics in the treatment of
buyers and clients
iii) Ethics in the treatment of
researchers
i) Ethics in the treatment of respondents
Respondents right to privacy must be
respected.
E.g.:’ respondents identity not to be
disclosed esp. w.r.t. sensitive questions.
Respondent’s right to choose
E.g.: respondents choice to participate
in the survey and answer questions
must be respected.
Respondent’s right to safety
E.g.: psychologically harmful personal
questions to be avoided.
Respondent’s right to be informed
E.g.: Purpose of survey must be
informed to the respondent.
ii) Ethics in the treatment of buyers and
clients of the research
Methodology adopted for the study
must be accurate.
Identity of the client to be kept
confidential in view of competitive
intelligence network
Misuse of information collected
E.g.: Leaking of information to
competition.
Unethical practices to please self
interest of individuals and
compromising the larger interest of
client organization must be avoided.
iii) Ethical Treatment of Researchers
Bias in selection of bidders/agency for
research project.
Non provision of data or timely funds
for research.
Gathering of information to study fro
one agency and awarding the contract
to another agency.
Foreign researcher to provide biased
data and conclusions.
III. EMERGING ISSUES – Recent
trends in Business Research
A) Marketing research in the internet era
Internet is a source of collectively
abundant secondary data and relevant
primary data.
One of the biggest advantage of internet
research is its low cost, huge saving in
time and speed of responses.
The other advantage of doing research
on the net would be the possibility of
showing both text and good graphics
and also the process of making the
process interactive.
Consumers can create their product
design, packaging options and give
A) Marketing research in the internet era
Internet is a source of collectively abundant
secondary data and relevant primary data.
One of the biggest advantage of internet
research is its low cost, huge saving in time
and speed of responses.
The other advantage of doing research on the
net would be the possibility of showing both
text and good graphics and also the process of
making the process interactive.
Consumers can create their product design,
packaging options and give their ratings and
preferences.
C) On-Line focus groups
It is a technique of creating a chat
room on website, where the
moderator brings the scattered
audience all over the world for a
discussion.
Qualitative research through chat
session is made possible.
Advantages
No geographical restrictions
No physical movement of respondents
Allows respondents to view texts,
graphics, sounds video or multimedia
for evaluation and testing.
In-depth discussion is possible
It saves time of top level executives.
Saves time and money
Disadvantages
Management of complex technology
Moderator must have technical skills to
facilitate the group skills to facilitate the
group through the net.
Sustaining audience interest is difficult
vis-avis conventional focus groups.
E) Pop-up surveys
Respondents are remitted from client
websites.
Random selection of visitors for
conduction of survey.
Ideal for evaluating business issues
such as customer satisfaction
especially with new products.
F) Data warehousing and data
mining
Another emerging technology related to marketing
intelligence and marketing research is that of data
warehousing and data mining.
It involves the capture of data an a regular basis
from several sources.
This huge amount of data is stored in computers in
a VIRTUAL WAREHOUSE and used to find
trends, patterns and frame hypothesis.
E.g.: A credit card company with card usage data
over many years. By analyzing this data buying
patterns of things purchased or profile of
consumer and life style can be determined.
Used extensively in CRM
Global information on MR, PR activities of MNC
can be stored to provide valuable secondary data
reference.
The Need for MR or Factors
contributing to the growth of MR
It is a decision making tool to
make sound decisions in a
competitive world w.r.t to the 4ps.
Large scale production to attain
economies of scale requires firms to
take critical decisions on what to
produce, when to produce and how
much to produce and reduce risk in
decision making.
Shift from seller’s to buyers market
requires products and services to be in line
with consumer preference.
To determine patterns of consumption,
brand loyalty, CB and market trends.
Increasing competition has made market
place more complex with wider choice of
products and services. MR helps producer
know market share status and develop
strategies to stay ahead of competition.
MR helps companies to
grow from local, state,
regional, national,
international to global
markets with right products
and services.
MR brings out changes in demographic
patterns to widen the scope for products
and services
E.g.:
Joint families to nuclear families.
Rural to urban shift in population.
Increase working women population
Increase of educated youth with
greater disposable income.
Development of IT based industries.
Increased use of computers,
sophisticated software, ability to process
large volume of MR data.
Specialists in statistics psychology
and other behavioral sciences have all
contributed strengthening MR techniques.
Wide choice of media has improved
awareness level of consumers and MR
helps identify optimum contribution of
media for best results.
Limitations of MR
MR is fragmentary in its approach.
Only a part of the problem is studies.
Thus it becomes difficult to have an
overall perspective.
MR becomes too superficial, detailed
investigation and sophisticated
techniques are avoided buying to time
and resource constraints and
competition intelligence.
MR is not an exact science.
Analytical tools in MR are still
deficient in predicting consumer
behavior.
Possibility of misuse of MR data for
personal gains.
Differences in methodology such
as sampling method, quality of field
staff, research design could lead to
major difference in results.
Failure of MR studies.
E.g.: Coca cola decided to change
the taste of its original drink owing to
faulty MR study and failed. Later it
reverted to its original product taste
to restore is market share.
MR becomes irrelevant when
technology becomes sophisticated
and public are unable to give any input
owing to lack of knowledge.
E.g.:
1. Sony walkman demand was created
after product launch as public could
not give any worthwhile input towards
product development.
2. Similarly development of wider
platform by micro soft.
Practical Application of MR

Malayala Manorama’s MR revealed
a huge vaccum in the Hindi
magazine segment for women. A
new magazine Vanita was launched
and positioned as a friend of
modern women. The magazine was
a great success.
P & G used MR to identify new
opportunities in the market place.
The data analysis on Vicks
Vaporub indicated the need for a
common medicine for cold,
headache and fever, thus Vicks
Action 500 was developed to
meet this need.
Pepsi foods employed IMRB to
determine market opportunities
and Indian tastes and
preferences. Pepsi adapted its
international snack food brands
to suit the Indian Plalette. Lays
& Kurkure are successful
brands in India today.
Maruti employed MR to extend
its segment to upper income
groups in the two-wheeler
segment.
Deccan Air used MR to
determine its low cost air fare
structure to attract first class AC
rail passengers.
Whirlpool washing machine
used MR to study manual
washing of clothes in India and
developed the ad concept to
promote its products.
Horlicks/ Complan used MR
change its image from a health
drink of the old to growth of
younger generation.
MR helped J & J to extend its
baby products to young mothers
MR helped Emami extend its
fairness creams to male
segments
MR helped extend the readership
of women’s magazines such as
Femina to include men and vise
versa.