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Undergraduate Major Project

Lecture 4 Addressing ethical issues

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Learning objectives
Understand the nature of business ethics; Be able to appreciate the importance of ethics in business; Know how to address ethical issues; Recognize how ethics can be interpreted across cultures; Realize why your research needs ethical approval;
Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Learning Objectives
Be aware of the role of the university or college research ethics committee; Be aware of the consequences of not following ethical guidelines; Be familiar with how to negotiate access when conducting your research.

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Definition of ethics
The principles, norms, and standards of conduct governing an individual or group.

Source: Trevino and Nelson (1999: 12).

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Research stakeholders
Research supervisor Employer

University / college

Your Research project

Organizational participants

Individual participants

Researchers & community

Research stakeholders
Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Why do I need to learn about ethical values?


When undertaking your research project, you will need to be aware of a range of ethical issues that impact a wide variety of research participants Learning about business ethics can provide you transferable skills that can be used in the workplace.

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Ethical responsibilities to research stakeholders


Individual participants. Protection of participants. Safety of the researcher. Recruitment and informed consent. Anonymity. Confidentiality.

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Confidentiality and anonymity


Confidentiality Usually not such an issue for research projects. Restrictions can usually be placed on copies going into the public domain (e.g. university library) Anonymity - Unless you have obtained your participants agreement to mention them as providers of data, you should use the information they give you anonymously.
Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Responsibility to other researchers and the wider community


The main areas of responsibility include ensuring against plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Plagiarism the deliberate copying of someone elses work and presenting it as ones own. Self-plagiarism including work in your research project that you have already submitted as part of a previous piece of assessment.

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Maintaining professional standards


Important to consider the following factors: Personal conduct Respect Conflict of interest Dissemination Debriefing Collusion

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Ethics across cultures


Important to show respect and willingness to adapt to different cultures, be prepared to follow written and unwritten codes of conduct, understand sensitive issues when compiling questionnaire surveys, and respect varying degrees of confidentiality and anonymity.

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Ethics approval
Required for the following reasons: To protect the rights and welfare of participants and minimise risk of physical and mental discomfort, harm and danger from research procedures. To protect your rights as a researcher to carry out legitimate investigation as well as the reputation of the University for research; conducted and sponsored by it.
Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Ethics approval form


Sections are likely to include the following: Project / researcher details Project aims and objectives Research methodology Ethical issues Consent Signatures
Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Ethics approval
To minimise the potential for claims of negligence made against you, the University and any collaborating individual or organisation. Because increasingly external funding bodies and refereed journals require a statement of ethical practice in applications for research funds and as a precondition of publication.

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Negotiating access
Use all available contacts Use a key individual as part of snowball sampling. Provide a clear overview of your research Answer the Whats in it for me? question Do not take no straight away Build relationships

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Common questions
What do I do if any of my research participants wish for the information provided to remain confidential? These ethical issues are not so important in my country. Why do they need to be applied here? I dont fully understand plagiarism. What is it? And how can I avoid it?

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Scenarios
(A) A student researcher conducting research into business performance in a developing country has received consent from the Ministry of Commerce in that particular country to conduct research. The student intends interviewing 25 company directors on the impact of the global financial crisis on their business. What are the ethical issues that need to be considered?
Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Scenarios
(B) A student researcher decides to interview academic staff at a London University on staff retention in the workplace. He is from Japan and has some experience of doing interviews. What are the ethical issues that need to be considered?

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Group work
Discuss your research topic, ideas, research questions and proposed methodology with those in your group.

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues

Questions ?

Lecture 4: Addressing ethical issues