Research ethics in business: a participant observer perspective

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Publication details

Wallace, M & Sheldon, N 2015, 'Research ethics in business: a participant observer perspective', Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 128, no. 2, pp. 267-277.

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The ethical parameters of business research, especially that undertaken by doctoral candidates, are an under researched area. This exploratory research analyses research ethics in the business and management contexts as espoused in perceived low risk ethics applications from business doctoral candidates in light of the principles of Australian research ethics guidelines. Applications are also analysed in terms of power relationships, methods of access and informed consent, pressure to complete research expeditiously, conflict of interest and cross-cultural understandings. Findings suggest that research design, personal relationships with participants and nuanced understandings of the contextual dimensions of risk may be of concern in the proposed research. However, a reflexive process also questions the cultural and other assumptions of both researchers and ethics administrators underlying these concerns.