“But I didn’t know… Things you should probably know about research ethics” Dr. Tyrone S. Pitsis Reader in Strategic Design
Menu About me What do we mean by research ethics? Why we have ethics in business schools Some things we might or might not know, but probably really should have. Lots of interaction and Q&A
About me Currently Research Ethics Convenor at NUBS Outgoing chair of AoM – PTC Editor in Chief and senior editor of journals (Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies, Organization Studies, Management, Journal of Strategic Contracts and Negotiation). Former NDSC Chair of AoM Former D.o.R. and doctoral programme director for the School of Management (UTS) Ran several large research grants as well. Still confused about all the ins and outs of ethics. 5
What do we mean by research ethics in business school contexts? Many academics struggle with research ethics themselves, and the idea that many of these can teach research ethics is somewhat problematic “Ethics is” like that old “love is….” game: a social construction of the agreed, implied and taken for granted assumptions, norms and standards of behaviours that guide moral choices about our behaviour in relationships with others.
What do we mean by research ethics in business school contexts? But that means that certain things in this research game are unethical. In 5 minutes I want you to write as many things as you can think of that you believe are unethical in the conduct of research. Let us now explore these together.
What do we mean by research ethics in business school contexts? There is a balancing act The need to account for ethics and the need for innovative research But this has varying degrees of relevance depending on the nature of the programme Undergraduate dissertation? MBA or Masters dissertation? PhD and DBA?. - I will return to this issue later
Why we have ethics in business schools? Pressure from many directions Nixon and corruption (saw one of the first role of business ethicist role emerge at Harvard and other places in the 1970s) GFC etc etc Milgram experiments ‘extra-curricular activities of men
Why we have ethics in business schools? Several questions emerge: Can we teach ethics? Teaching ethics versus doing ethics Researching ethics versus researching ethically The pressures of research – publish or perish, pass or fail
Why we have ethics in business schools? Some real life examples -Conducting research on children's consumer behaviour -Losing files on trains -Tweeting stuff… -PhD student failing Viva due to no ethics approval -Publications retracted
Some ethical frameworks EQUIS, AACSB have clear requirements on ethical governance All credible and quality universities have a strong ethics system in place NHS, ESRC, EPSRC have ethics frameworks As a default we are all bound by the EU Code of Ethics for Social and Economic Research 12
What non ethical behaviour looks like…(by law) Plagiarism. Misappropriation and misrepresentation of data Failing to protect the respondent from harm or reputational damage. Failing to adequately protect the student (as a supervisor) from harm or reputational damage. Confidentiality Promise to provide results? (not doing so is considered deception) 13
Student/supervisor collaboration – what would you do? - “I have completed my PhD but my supervisor is pressuring me to keep publishing with him… “They employed me on a research grant, but I am changing universities. The PI is refusing to let me use the data that I collected…” “I failed my Viva because I did not have ethics approval, but my supervisor signed off on my project that it did not need ethics approval…surely she is to blame!” 14
Publishing and ethics http://retractionwatch.com/ http://retractionwatch.com/2014/02/07/leadership- journal-to-retract-five-papers-from-fiu-scholar/http://retractionwatch.com/2014/02/07/leadership- journal-to-retract-five-papers-from-fiu-scholar/ 15
You should have a clear and unambiguous research ethics policy Integral part of the School, not an ADD-ON. What forms of research is allowable? What forms of research should be avoided, and when? Your policy must be clear about Ethics and research design Ethics and research participant recruitment briefing and debriefing Ethics and the conduct of research Ethics and reporting and publishing of data Ethics and data security Ethics and data management and data records 16