Research Ethics in a Wider Context

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Transcript Research Ethics in a Wider Context

Ethics in Qualitative Research
Workshop aims
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To raise the awareness of the ethical issues that can
arise in quantitative and qualitative research.
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To encourage researchers as well as the universities
to consider the ethical issues.
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To enable researcher to deploy ethical theories,
guidelines and principles to solving ethical dilemmas
in business field.
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Road Map
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I.
Research ethics.
II.
Ethical Philosophies.
III.
Potential for Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research.
IV.
Ethical Philosophies concerns.
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I.
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Research ethics:
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Research ethics relates to questions about how we
formulate and clarify our research topic, design our
research and gain access, collect data, process and
store our data, analyse data and write up our
research findings in a moral and responsible way.
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A code of ethics provide you with a statement of
principles and procedures for the conduct of your
research.
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Research ethics- In context
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In the context of ethics, the researcher has to ask
the following questions:
What moral principles guide your research?
How do ethical issues enter into your selection of a
research problem?
How do ethical issues affect how you conduct your
research—the design of your study, your sampling
procedure, etc.?
What responsibility do you have toward your
research subjects
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II. Ethical Philosophies-Theories
Four philosophical approaches are applied in research:
 Deontological: According to Skinner et al,. (1988), “deontological
philosophies focus on the factors or means used to arrive at an ethical
decision. It also means that you should not harm participants in any
way, no matter what the potential benefit.
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Teleological : This approach emphasizes the consequences that
result from an action. Thus, the potential harm from the research is
outweighed by the potential benefit of the research.
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Ethical Theories, cont,,,
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Utilitarian ethics – the theory that claims that the
only legitimate principle upon which to judge an
action as ethical is that it has beneficial
consequences, namely, that it reduces harms and
promotes the greatest happiness of the greatest
number e.g John S Mill.
Virtue ethics – the theory that ethical conduct
should be directed by ideals of the virtues higher
than conformity to standards set by duty and law.
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III. Potential for Ethical Issues
in Qualitative Research
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Related to the stage of research
Research Design (RD)
Research Problem Statement (RPS)
Formulating the research questions (RQ)
Preparing Literature Review (LR)
Collecting data: data collection processes
Writing Up (W-up)
Discuss the results and reporting
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Ethical issues- RD
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Can the research be done properly with the
resources that are available?
Is there sufficient time for the design of the research,
collection of data and analysis of results?
Will the available resources cover the costs of the
research (e.g. travel, printing, etc.)?
Will it be possible and practical to gain access to
necessary data (people, events, documents)?
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Research Design-cont,,,
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Researchers should be committed to discovering
and reporting things as faithfully and as honestly as
possible, without allowing their investigations to be
influenced by considerations other than what is the
truth of the matter.
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Ethical issues- RPS
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The researcher identifies a significant problem or
issue to study and presents a rational for its
importance.
It is important to identify a problem that will benefit
individuals being studied or institutions.
Deception occurs when participants understand one
purpose for a study but the researcher has a different
purpose in mid.
It is also important for researchers to specify the
sponsorship of their study.
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Ethical issues- -RQ
Ethical
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issues may intervene in forming up your RQ:
The ideological position of the researcher
The political economic context in which the research
is taken up
The various stakeholders agenda including the
funding agencies, the researchers, the government
as a player, the global situation.
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Ethical issues- LR
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Ignoring the key authors
Ignoring the key articles or journals
Ignoring the key theories
Obtaining a secondary citation for one’s own
publication
The text is not cited by the mentioned reference
Change the meaning of the text that you cited
Excessively using one single reference
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Ethical issues- Data collection
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Collecting data without appropriate controls.
No permission from the gatekeeper.
Omitting controls that others have pointed out.
Using inappropriate sample sizes.
Using inappropriate research community.
Selecting what to observe and ignores other factors.
Failing to see events or seeing non-existing ones.
Failing to preserve data for a sufficiently long time.
Using out dated data. You are in 2014 not 2004.
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Ethical issues- Processing Data
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Manipulate and making up data.
Using inappropriate statistical tests.
Violating the statistical assumptions.
Reporting only positive or significant results.
Ignoring the opposite results.
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Ethical issues- W-up
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Using other people’s words (plagiarism).
Cut and paste others’ work to form new ideas.
Ignoring the contradictory findings.
Not explaining why your findings differ from others.
Failing to submit oneself to review or obtaining
permission from authors.
Changing the hypothesis.
Reporting the significant correlation.
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Ethical issues- W-up, cont,,,
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Academic Fraud
Academic fraud involves the intentional
misrepresentation of what has been done which is
worse than plagiarism.
Making up data and or result as he/she may have
difficulty accessing the correct people to survey.
Purposefully putting forward conclusions that are not
accurate. You already have the conclusion.
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Ethical issues- W-up, cont,,,
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Misrepresenting the Results
Misrepresenting (fabricate) the results, is especially
important for students undertaking their project for a
client.
On occasion, some students (not you, of course)
may purposefully misrepresent their work to impress
their business client.
Academic supervisors, on the other hand, will
frequently identify these exaggerations and mark the
work down accordingly.
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IV. Ethical Philosophies concerns
There are six broad ethical areas that need to be
considered in your research
 voluntary participation
 Informed consent
 confidentiality and anonymity
 the potential for harm
 Communicating the results
 more specific ethical issues
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Voluntary Participation
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The principle of voluntary participation requires
that people not be coerced into participating in
research.
Closely related to the notion of voluntary
participation is the requirement of informed
consent.
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Informed Consent
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Informed consent means that the participants have:
Adequate understandable Information about the
research.
fully informed about the procedures and risks
involved in research.
Are free to participate or not without any coercion
power.
Ethical standards also require that researchers not
put participants in a situation where they might be
at risk of harm .
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Informed Consent, cont,,,
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Must give their consent to participate.
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Have a free power to take their decision at any time
of the involvement (Frankfort and Naichimas, 1996).
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Discussion of confidentiality and Anonymity are part
of the informed consent process.
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Potential for Harm
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Potential harm includes Psychological harm,
Financial harm and Social harm.
Ideally, your research should have minimal, if any,
potential for any harm to occur.
The question is not whether you believe harm could
occur, but whether participants or potential
participants believe that harm could occur.
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Anonymity
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Anonymity requires that you do not know who the
participants are. (Oliver, 2003)
Advantages of applying anonymity:
Encourages objectivity throughout the research
process
Anonymity makes it easier to explore issues which
might be slightly unpopular (sensitive).
Using fictional names which protects participants.
Random phone surveying.
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Confidentiality
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Researchers are assured that identifying information
will not be made available to anyone who is not
directly involved in the study.
Therefore, participant identity will not be revealed in
any way in the resulting report which aims to protect
the privacy of respondent.
It should be an explicit statement about the people
who will have access to the data provided by a
particular respondent.
The respondent should be informed about the plans
for retaining the data
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Confidentiality – public company
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Organizations, just as much as individuals, may be
participants in research projects.
For public company, there should generally be an
expectation that researchers should receive as much
help and assistance as possible, commensurate with
the protection of named individuals.
In the case of private companies they may have both
moral and legal rights to keep details inaccessible.
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Differences in the research
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Cultural differences
The differences, both between participants
themselves, and between participants and the
researcher, may involve dimensions such as values
and attitudes, social customs, religious beliefs,
ethnicity, gender, language, employment patterns
and education.
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Differences in the research
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Gender
Females in some roles in education may prefer
certain types of inquiry methods to others.
Males, on the other hand, may be satisfied to
provide data in a more focused, less reflective form.
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The social ecology
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The social ecology of a setting refers to the sense of
equilibrium which evolves between the different
social actors in that setting.
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It is desirable that the researcher disturbs the social
ecology as little as possible.
The less the research field is disturbed by the
research process the better.
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Thanks for listening
For further details you may contact the
researcher on the following e-mail
[email protected]
[email protected]
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Workshop References
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Paul Oliver, (2003) The Students Guide to
Research Ethics, Open University Press
Also useful are: ‘
Michael Davis, (1999) Ethics for the University,
Routledge
Hillary Coombes, (2001) Research Using IT,
Palgrave
Resnik, D. (1986) The Ethics of Science,
Routledge
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Additional Texts
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Elliot, D. (ed.) ( 1997) Research Ethics: A Reader,
University Press of New England
Penslar, R. (ed.) (1997) Research Ethics: Cases and
Materials, Open University Press
Punch, M. (1986) The Politics and Ethics of Fieldwork,
Sage, London
Homan, R (1991) The Ethics of Social Research, Longmans
May, T (1997) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process,
Open U P (Ch 3 Values and Ethics in the Research Process)
House, E and K R (1999) Values in Evaluation and Social
Research, Sage
Bebau, M J (1995) Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research.
Cases for Teaching and Assessment, Indiana University
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Dr. Wael Aldaya