What Is Ethics in Business Research and Why Is It Important?

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Ethics in Business Research and Why They Are Important

Ethics are the standards of behavior that direct moral choices regarding the way we behave and our relationships with others. Richard T. De George dates the modern interest in ethics to the 1960’s when people began to change their attitude towards issues such as the environment with a huge amount of criticism towards large companies. In business research ethics are the moral principles followed to ensure that no one is hurt or suffers in any way due to the studies being carried out.. Generally ethical considerations in business research deal with the way in which information is collected and how information is conveyed to the intended audience. However there are other ethical issues to consider including confidentiality, intellectual property and following laws and government policies.

Why Business Research Ethics Are Important

The primary reason to conduct business research ethically is to protect everybody involved. Ethical considerations in research proposal protects the rights of participants, sponsors and researchers and ensures their safety. Conducting business research ethically also promotes the values that are necessary for collaborative work, such as trust, accountability and fairness. Ethics also contribute to building public trust and support for research.

Business Research Ethical Considerations

When designing and presenting business research a number of different issues must be considered:

  • Participants in studies and respondents to questionnaires should suffer no physical harm, discomfort or embarrassment and their privacy should be protected. They also should have their rights explained to them as well as measures you have taken to protect those rights and their safety. It is a good idea to obtain an informed consent form from participants.
  • Research design should ensure that results are not skewed due to the way questions are asked and so that a particular outcome isn’t forced
  • Respect intellectual property: Any business research should avoid publishing information from a third party without their permission. If permission is given credit should be given for their contribution to the research
  • Business research findings should be objective and accurately reported. Research results should not be exaggerated or taken out of context or presented in any manner that deceives the reader. Any affiliations with sponsors or any possible conflicts of interest should also be stated to avoid claims of improper research.

As Melissa Horton writing for Investopedia says:

“The management team sets the tone for how the entire company runs on a day-to-day basis. When the prevailing management philosophy is based on ethical practices and behavior, leaders within an organization can direct employees by example and guide them in making decisions that are not only beneficial to them as individuals, but also to the organization as a whole. Building on a foundation of ethical behavior helps create long lasting positive effects for a company, including the ability to attract and retain highly talented individuals and building and maintaining a positive reputation within the community. Running a business in a ethical manner from the top down builds a stronger bond between individuals on the management team, further creating stability within the company.”

These are just a few of the many different ethical issues that should be considered when conducting business research or ethical considerations research proposal. Often several ethical ideals have to be weighed against each other and it isn’t always easy to determine the right course of action.

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