The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management
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Journal Article

The Ethical Impact of Business and Organisational Research: the Forgotten Methodological Issue?  pp21-28

Margaret Lindorff

© Jul 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 36

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Abstract

In recent years, relatively little business or organisational research has focused on personal welfare detached from economic or organisational performance. Similarly, the mainstream management literature has tended to overlook the social effects of undertaking academic research, in particular those that relate to the researchers' ethical obligations to participants. This paper discusses some of the ethical issues associated with research on business and in organisations, using as its framework the ethical principles of justice, beneficence, and respect for persons.

 

Keywords: Research ethics, justice, beneficence, respect for persons, informed consent

 

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Journal Article

Strategies for Teaching Research Ethics in Business, Management and Organisational Studies  pp29-36

Linda Naimi

© Jul 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 36

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Abstract

Ethics education has become increasingly important in the wake of recent corporate scandals and reported scientific misconduct. The pressure to succeed has spurred the emergence of a 'cheating culture' (Callahan, 2004). Callahan suggests that ethics — i.e., integrity, honesty and fairness — is losing ground to a market‑driven economy and culture that rewards self‑interest, self‑gratification, and amoral behaviour. As educators, we are committed to providing students with the preparation, mentoring and guidance they need to address ethical issues that arise in their academic, professional and personal lives. We need to serve as positive role models to encourage ethical conduct. Nowhere is this more critical than in the area of research, particularly human subject research. To ensure integrity in research, students and faculty must demonstrate that they understand the ethical and legal ramifications of their work prior to initiating any research. In addition to legal requirements, universities now use a variety of creative approaches designed to promote integrity in personal and professional conduct. This paper discusses effective strategies for teaching research ethics to undergraduate and graduate students in business, management and organisational studies. Strategies include online interactive training modules, case studies, role‑playing, action research, critical inquiry, simulations, the Socratic Method, interest triggers, and research analysis. This paper also includes a brief look at LANGURE, an NSF funded national initiative involving over one hundred faculty and students at eight land grant and historically black universities in the United States. LANGURE is developing a model curriculum in research ethics for doctoral candidates in the physical, social and life sciences, and engineering.

 

Keywords: Research, ethics, business, management, organisation, case studies

 

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Journal Article

Integrating Sustainable Development into Research Ethics Protocols  pp54-63

Anthony Stacey, Julie Stacey

© Dec 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, ECRM, Editor: Ann Brown, pp53 - 153

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Abstract

The challenges and crises that face organisations are frequently the result of unintended, unanticipated or unforeseen consequences of well‑intended decisions. In this paper the role of research ethics is analysed in as far as it contributes to or militat

 

Keywords: extrinsic research ethics, five capitals, sustainable society, business decisions

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 1 / Jul 2007  pp1‑36

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

For Business Schools and management departments, research methods are emerging as a subject not only as a core for staff and business students at all levels but also of increasing complexity. The subject is ramifying into a number of separate but related issues. The four papers in this issue of EJBRM reflect a number of these current concerns:

The quality and nature of business and management research methods and the practical value of the results achieved (Coldwell)

The scale and nature of the ethical responsibility of organizations, researchers and students (Lindorff, Naimi)

The training and supervision of doctoral candidates (Iqbal)

Coldwell argues that although truly causally adequate explanation is beyond the capacity of social science and management research and that adequate explanation on the level of meaning also is, at best, problematical, nonetheless it is possible to adopt a methodological approach that is capable of producing practically useable research outcomes. He proposes a methodology based on critical realism and offers considerable help in the practical steps to be taken when following this approach.

Two papers consider ethical issues in business research and teaching (Lindorff, Naimi). Lindorff is concerned with researchers’ ethical obligations to participants in their research. She presents a fairly bleak view of current practice, contrasting the comparatively indifferent attitude of almost all published business research with the central role that ethical practice takes within medical and psychology research methods literature. Her view that business researchers lack training on this aspect of research is neatly met by Naimi’s paper. This paper argues that we live in a cheating culture and claims that there has been a decline in ethical conduct and “right thinking” in society today. It proposes that universities need to incorporate modules on ethics into their degree courses and suggests some of the topics that such courses might include.

Iqbal provides a road map for the process of writing a suitable doctoral proposal. He is particularly concerned with the range of choices facing the new candidate at each step of the proposal. He offers a structured approach for navigating these decisions based on his own experience.

 

Keywords: adequacy at the level of meaning, alignment, beneficence, business, case study, causal adequacy, critical realism, dialectical triangulation, dualism, enterprise integration, ethics, evidence-based research, framework, grounded research, imponderable evidence, informed consent, justice, metadata interoperability, methodological triangulation, phenomenology, piecemeal social engineer, postgraduate study, research ethics, research proposal, respect for persons, social sciences

 

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