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Business Research Ethics

Business Research Ethics
 

The set of ethical research guidelines for any research project is meant to sustain and promote ethical practices while conducting the research. The introduction of the Internet, on the other hand, has reshaped ethics in research demanding for greater standards. However, the increasing range and complexity of business research projects requires these guidelines to make ethical requirements unambiguous. This paper presents a set of guidelines for upcoming and established researchers in business projects (University of Pittsburgh, 2011). Business research projects are broad and diverse but mostly involve human beings. Similarly, there are ethical guidelines for research on human subjects such as those used in biomedical research that may not be suitable, which is why a set of guidelines limited to business project is necessary. In some business projects, ethical issues are limited while others raise significant challenges that require urgent and timely solutions. Most project sponsors will only fund research projects that are designed and conducted in such a manner that it abides by its key principles. This discussion presents a set of ethical research guidelines and how they are applied to the research in the article “The Beauty Industry’s Influence on Women in Society,” by Ann Marie Britton (2012).

Ethical Research Guidelines

  1. Respect for confidentiality and privacy

Respecting people’s right to privacy and confidentiality is a crucial principle to every researcher. However, most privacy issues relate to the study population. Therefore, the researchers must develop appropriate ways of asking respondents whether they are willing to give certain information they consider sensitive, without putting them in awkward states. This can be achieved by disseminating a set of increasingly comprehesive interview questions, so that the respondents can stop once they become uncomfortable with the questions. The law gives participants the liberty to decide on the amount of information about themselves they wish to share under any conditions. This means those researchers need to be keen while selecting the sample population for the study (Smith, 2003).

2. Follow informed-consent rules

This principle ensures that participants who have volunteered to take-part in the study have comprehensive information about benefits and relevant risks involved in the study. The implication of this principle is that the researcher must not hide any information deemed relevant from the participant. These include the procedures, expected duration and the purpose of the research, among others. This principle discourages researchers from giving handouts or other incentives for research participation because such move is likely to coerce participation (Smith, 2003).

 

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3. Be conscious of multiple roles

APA’s code of ethics requires researchers to avoid certain relationships that can significantly prejudice their professional performance. Not all multiple relationships are unethical, only those that can bear adverse effects on the researcher’s performance. In other words, researchers should be cautious when they enter into multiple relationships with any group or person, especially when they are conducting a research on the usefulness of a company’s product whose stock the participants already own (Smith, 2003).

4. Discuss intellectual property frankly

The “publish or perish” mindset has caused many problems in the academic competition as to who gets credit for the work. The appropriate way to address such disagreements is by talking about the issue at early stages of working relationship although mostt people find it uncomfortable to discuss such issues. The APA code of Ethics encourages the researchers to avail their data to others who may wish to confirm conclusions as long as the participants’ confidentiality is protected, and provided that legal rights pertaining property data does not prevent their release. The shared data can be used for analysis; otherwise burrower will have to obtain a written agreement from the owner (Smith, 2003).

Summary of Research Paper

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The research “The Beauty Industry’s Influence on Women in Society” by Ann Marie Britton (2012) presents the effects of advertisement in fashion and beauty on women. The study suggests that advertisements that bears false and unrealistic images of beauty causes low self-confidence, low self-esteem and anxiety among women. It further points out that most negative emotions arise from despondency among physical appearances. According to Britton (2012) there are a handful research studied the impact of cosmetic products on women and how women can utilize these products to manipulate their physical appearance. The paper gives detailed information about existing studies on cosmetic industries and how they exert influence on women (Britton, 2012).

The researcher uses a general survey to gather relevant information about usage, habits and beliefs about cosmetics from a group of college students. The findings from the study indicate that college women are major consumers of cosmetics. Moreover, they have information about the cosmetic industry. Similarly, differences in taste and preferences play a big role in the consumer’s decisions regarding cosmetics. The research contains some interesting findings, for example, images of ladies wearing makeup appeared healthier and more confident than the same images without makeup (Britton, 2012).

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