Are we ethical? Approaches to ethics in management and organisation research
Date: 7 July 2016
Organization: the interdisciplinary journal of organization, theory and society
We are currently witnessing two concurrent trajectories in the field of research ethics, namely the increasingly explicit and formalised requirements of research governance and the ongoing debate around the implicit nature of ethics, which cannot be assured by these methods, and related – for some – the role that reflexivity can play ...
We are currently witnessing two concurrent trajectories in the field of research ethics, namely the increasingly explicit and formalised requirements of research governance and the ongoing debate around the implicit nature of ethics, which cannot be assured by these methods, and related – for some – the role that reflexivity can play in research ethics. This paper seeks to address two questions. Firstly, given the focus of these discussions is often theoretical rather than on practice, how do our colleagues engage with research ethics and what is their ethical position? Secondly, given reflexivity is typically focused on knowledge construction, to what extent does it influence (if at all) their ethics throughout the research process? Interviews were undertaken with senior colleagues who have established modes of research practice and ethical approaches. Drawing on understandings of reflexivity and ethics, this paper explores an ethical subjectivity that was typically reflective and sometimes reflexive, and was usually related to personal rather than procedural ethics. It demonstrates contrasting ethical concerns of society, participant, and researcher community, and how some researchers saw their ethical obligation as focused on producing meaningful research at the expense of more traditional concerns for the research participant.
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