Research ethics in business: a participant observer perspective

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Publication details

Wallace, M & Sheldon, N 2012, 'Research ethics in business: a participant observer perspective', paper presented to 2nd Annual Australasian Business Ethics Network (ABEN) Conference, Melbourne, Vic., 12-14 December.


Business research ethics are a somewhat under researched area. This paper analyses research ethics in the business and management contexts in light of the principles of Australian research ethics and in terms of power relationships, methods of access, pressure to complete research expeditiously, conflict of interest and cross-cultural understandings. The exploratory research scrutinises a sample of expedited ethics applications from Australian and international/transnational, business doctorate candidates in the light of perceived low or negligible risk and the issues highlighted above. Findings suggest that research design, personal relationships with participants and nuanced understandings of risk related may be of concern in the proposed research. Suggestions for further research that would widen the parameters of a study such as this are made.