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Ethical Research

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Ethical behavior forms the basis for conducting meaningful and useful research in organizations. Ethics involves being able to differentiate between what is perceived to be right or wrong behavior. In the context of research involving human participants, ethics includes but not limited to the proper treatment of participants and upholding the integrity of the research. Some of the ethical considerations related to the use of human participants include ensuring voluntary participation, beneficence, respect for subjects’ confidentiality, as well as obtaining informed consent. Individual researchers have the responsibility of ensuring that participants have the right to choose whether to participate or not to participate in the research at their free will. In many organizations, there are Institutional Review Boards tasked with ensuring the safety of human subjects used in organizational research. Another ethical consideration in research relates to the integrity of individual researchers. An important ethical principle that governs researchers is not to interfere with the natural setting or participants under study. Causing any kind of harm to the participants would constitute an unethical behavior by the researcher. (Carter, 2017).
There are several potential risks involved when recruiting employees to be research participants from one’s organization. One of such risks is the undue influence or coercion that researchers may have on the subjects.

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Researchers may use the direct supervision that they exercise in the workplace to enroll peers as subjects in research. This would compromise the autonomy of the participants. When choosing employees as research participants, there is also the risk of not exercising voluntary participation, especially when the employees are directly supervised by the researchers. Employees’ decision may be affected by the fear that their participation or lack of participation may affect employment-related decisions such as career advancement, promotions, and performance evaluations. Another risk arises from the need to protect the confidentiality of the participants. Depending on the extent to which personal information may be accessible to the researchers, the conditions may be difficult for researchers to keep the employees’ participation confidential. There is also a big challenge to protect employees’ privacy interests when they are used as research participants. This poses a risk to the participants’ privacy. For example, when peer-pressure is involved in the research, or there is a stigma attached to the research topic, employees may be subjected to stigma in the workplace. In such cases, it is advisable that research is conducted outside the organizations or the regular working hours in order to safeguard employees’ privacy. (Petrova, Dewing, & Camilleri, 2016).
In any research, the necessary ethical standards must be employed to protect the anonymity, privacy, and confidentiality of the research participants. There are several issues related to privacy, confidentiality, and participants’ informed consent. In many cases, research involving human subject involves the collection of personal and sensitive information. This presents a substantial risk of invading one’s privacy which could be damaging to the individual’s dignity and fidelity. Informed consent involves ensuring that participants have a complete understanding of the objectives of the research, the method to be used as well as the potential risks that may be present. Everyone has a right to his/her privacy and confidentiality. This ensures that participants are able to exercise their free will without any form of coercion. The main objective is to ensure that no one experiences any harm, physically or psychologically, as a result of his/her participation in the research. Thus, participants’ have the right to have their confidentiality protected and as well to have the information collected from them safeguarded as per the agreements made on the use of the information. (Carter, 2017).
References
Carter, P. D. (2017). Ethics and research: A situated and relational approach. Psychotherapy and Politics International.
Petrova, E., Dewing, J., & Camilleri, M. (2016). Confidentiality in participatory research: Challenges from one study. Nursing ethics, 23(4), 442-454.

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