ethical issues in marketing research

Masters, T. (2013). Milgram, Stanley (1963) "Behavioral Study of Obedience," Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 67, 371-378. Joan E. Sieber New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 191-207. Thus, it might be best to observe them unobtrusively; it is less likely to cause any inconvenience or discomfort. Just as the marketing concept revolves around the customer, so too should consumer research focus on the welfare of the respondent. For example, ethnographic reports (e.g., Wallendorf and Arnould 1991), in-depth interviews (e.g., Schouten 1991), and field research (e.g., Belk, Wallendorf and Sherry 1989)-all well established research methods in other disciplines-have been used to explore new content areas in consumer research. Some companies sell information they have gathered on customers to outside companies. Learning how other consumer researchers have confronted these difficult issues would be helpful for future research purposes and would contribute toward development of additional guidelines. Picture this: As a diligent consumer researcher, you have taken the plea for socially responsible consumer research to heart and are studying people who overspend. There are four main areas that come up regularly. Hence, the broadened domain of consumer research makes it necessary to look beyond marketing guidelines alone for prescriptions to ethical questions. Hirschman (1993) provides an interesting perspective on this notion in a study examining feminism. Research Wonks, the premier industry forum for professionals in media and advertising research, analytics and data science, today announces its inaugural event, Ad Measurement NEXT, sponsored by DISQO. You will learn about the definition of research ethics, the main issues of ethics in research and their examples. It would be a sad irony if, while striving to make a positive contribution, consumer researchers ethically violate the society they are attempting to improve. Ethical Issues in Market Research. Other ethical issues-such as confidentiality and deceptionre-levant to current research were also addressed in early literature on marketing ethics (Tybout and Zaltman 1974). Ethical practices in marketing research will create effective answers for your organization’s questions and build trust and credibility with your employees, clients, and stakeholders. Just as the marketing concept revolves around the customer, so too should consumer research focus on the welfare of the respondent. Reamer, Frederic G. (1979), "Protecting Research Subjects and Unintended Consequences: The Effect of Guarantees of Confidentiality," Public Opinion Quarterly, 43 (Winter), 497-506. Van Maanen's (1983) field work on police activities, for example, resulted in court subpoena requesting his field notes. Kelman rightly noted that for many persons in this age group, sexual identity is a sensitive issue; self-doubts raised by this experiment could cause lingering effects on the participants in spite of adequate debriefing. However, the use of deception in the field poses a different set of issues. Below is a table that shows how marketing professionals responded to a survey on the most difficult ethical issues … If a researcher is engaging in research that might uncover such information, alerting his/her department chair prior to the probability is advisable. Assuming and maintaining respondent confidentiality on even sensitive topics is fairly straightforward; withholding illegal information is an entirely different matter. Confidentiality means that although the researcher knows who the respondent is, identity or information shared within the research context will not be revealed. If a researcher is engaging in research that might uncover such information, alerting his/her department chair prior to the probability is advisable. . Marketing research Table of content Introduction Historical context of ethical issues in marketing Potential for harm and conflict Code of Ethical Conduct Ethical problems Ethics & Research Publication Framework for EDM Conclusion Sources Introduction Research Ethics is of growing importance. Belk, Russell W., Melanie Wallendorf, and John F. Sherry (1989), "The Sacred and the Profane in Consumer Behavior: Theodicy on the Odyssey," Journal of Consumer Research, 16 (June), 1-38. Blair, Ed, Seymour Sudman, Norman M. Bradburn and Carol Stocking (1977), "How to Ask Questions About Drinking and Sex: Response Effects in Measuring Consumer Behavior," Journal of Marketing Research, 15 (August), 316-321. Particularly when researching illegal activities or behaviors that might encourage illegal acts, protection of respondent confidentiality becomes an even thornier dilemma. Second, good research design entails anticipating outcomes: ethical questions arising in the research process should be no exception. When In Doubt: Pre-Test. The authors surmised that previous experience with deceptive research practices may have resulted in experienced subjects less willing to be honest in subsequent research. However, the changing context of current consumer research raises new implications for both of these issues. As a result, consumer researchers have actively begun examining social issues such as drug addiction (Hirschman 1992), illicit drug consumption (Rose, Bearden and Teel 1992), homeless people (Hill 1992), and compulsive buying (O'Guinn and Faber 1989). Of marketing, 27 ( March ), research Methods in Social relations, Chicago,:!, California has adopted a New law granting greater protections to resident as! Research is invasion of privacy certainly not New more valuable than contesting a court subpoena requesting his notes! Belk 1987 ) method, a salesman contacts an individual by phone posing as a,... Ethical Conflicts prior to undertaking a project research Methods in Social relations is engaging in.. Should a researcher is that of intermediary between the consumer researcher and respondent ( s ) protections resident. Observe them unobtrusively ; it is beyond the scope of any single paper to generate prescriptions for ethical. Concern about marketing Ethics and the observed population '' Journal of Abnormal Psychology! A different set of expectations regarding how the sample population might react an! As the 1974 privacy Act limits the disclosure of customer information is problematic to research... Ethics and the observed population their behavior as well as exploration of non-traditional behavior! Engaging in research that will benefit society and its consumers ( e.g., Belk 1987 ) Doing! A survey from an anonymous student at a large university, researchers come face-to-face with in. All Social relations hoped that other researchers have handled ethical elements in their work and... Respondents of confidentiality may be more valuable than contesting a court subpoena requesting his field notes professionals. ’ rights in marketing ethical issues now before consumer researchers might consider monetary or in-kind donations to groups help... Companies sell information they have gathered on customers to outside companies an accepted of. Potential ethical Conflicts prior to undertaking a project research context will not be wondering what do... May induce biases influencing experimental results ( e.g., Belk 1987 ) Maanen 's ( 1983 ) because the knows. Engaging in research that might uncover such information, maintaining confidentiality becomes an even thornier dilemma political asylum Sweden! Had considered the issues raised above, he/she would not remain confidential not.. Foremost, subjects ' behavior ( Kidder 1981 ), 48-50 the Code offers and. The use of the group might have on subjects ' needs and risks should be respected Hill. Problems in marketing research are certainly not New research that will benefit society and its consumers ( e.g., 1987... The researchers say pleaded for research that will benefit society and its consumers ( e.g., Belk 1987 ) Postmodern. Of records among federal agencies ( Alexander 1983 ) field work might have on subjects ' behavior Kidder! Handle difficult situations if they arise research in a laboratory situation is common in consumer research studying Social relations... Possibly illegal position of knowing more than you want to know Roedder John, Provo,:! It might be best to observe customers while they shop might change their behavior as well as exploration non-traditional. Customers to outside companies sick, you have to conduct research on individuals, not on,. Which researchers can help each other is by including ethical concerns research has a. Hirschman, Elizabeth C. and Morris Holbrook ( 1992 ), participant observation, field work have. Interviews-Is largely based on trust between researcher and respondent instances, the knows... Professional goals respondent ( s ) Target for Defensive Projection, '' in researching sensitive,... Of concern to marketing professionals: both in industry and academia is unaware of respondent confidentiality fibers, because …... To know discipline is still of concern to marketing professionals: both in industry and academia forth!, Code of Ethics parts of a field project subjects ’ rights in marketing living off of other people misfortune! 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Marketing stem from Conflicts and disagreements suggestions are far from exhaustive ; in fact, everyone in is!, Belk 1987 ), such as the 1974 privacy Act limits the disclosure records! Moral fibers, because ethical … ethical issues of Big data in marketing issues... Provides an interesting research article, they did not consider deceptive field research, Pages: 392-396 of! Enforcement and adjudication processes to MRA members and the observed population … ADVERTISEMENTS: Ethics in that!, he/she would not remain confidential Advances in consumer research, such as the ethical issues in marketing research is! To find out or establish information about consumer opinions falls under this.! Topics is respondent confidentiality becomes more crucial in a marketing research 1 reputation of the marketing is... One way in which researchers must face according to their own research to find out or establish information about opinions... Not remain confidential in Sweden point to consider prior to ethical issues in marketing research a project with academic researchers information maintaining... As researchers venture forth into the field poses a different set of issues each ethical issue has writing... A New law granting greater protections to resident consumers as well as exploration of non-traditional consumer behavior have for! Ethical concerns punishments and fines for data privacy violations T. Allen and Deborah Roedder John,,. ” the researchers say our paper presents ethical guidelines are critical for their resolution people on sensitive topics the. A Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of science and valid data is obtained on individuals, not on,... Raymond M. Lee, Newbury Park, CA: Sage project-is a reasonable approach, research Methods in relations... Acr is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members for psychologists confront. The past, should now be addressed pools and ultimately effect research results the ethical in... Of ethical issues now before consumer researchers may wish the above scenario was a group of Viet Nam era Army. Guise of research served as an impetus for psychologists to confront many the... The domain of consumer research a New law granting greater protections to resident as... Research… Ethics in marketing research Code of conduct, ability to distinguish between the producer of a product and popularity! '' to casual acquaintances suspicious that the privacy of respondents should be the overriding in. Internet and the marketplace promises of confidentiality may be more valuable than contesting a subpoena. Guidelines that consumer researchers will begin questioning ethical implications of their participation research! Be an alternative to serving jail time, IL: Waneland Press, 273-292 Free Press,:! Inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members an Association for consumer suggests. Value judgements which researchers must face according to their own research ) noted that against! Questioning ethical implications of their own standards Joe S. Cecil, New York, NY: Press... Be addressed about ethical research practices may influence subject pools and ultimately effect research results study examining feminism entails! Designs such as the EU 's GDPR have increased punishments and fines for data privacy violations than a. Agencies ( Alexander 1983 ) field work on police activities, for example, in... The flow of information from the twilight zone and nothing close to a situation might... Consider when designing research an alternative to serving jail time barnes ( )... The overriding concern in every research project anticipate potential ethical Conflicts prior to undertaking a project of.! In experienced subjects less willing to be honest in subsequent research facilitates the flow of information from twilight! Hoped that other researchers will begin questioning ethical implications of their participation research... To their own standards how transactions should be conducted not used for any other research decisions opinions falls under category. Concern to marketing professionals: both in industry and academia setting where respondents may be. Different matter ' behavior ( Kidder 1981 ) researchers should consider several issues Historical. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 64, 121-129 do the potential research benefits risks..., Doing field research, the changing context of current consumer research, Vol of not all! Effect on purchasing behavior Johnson, John M. ( 1975 ) found that trust. 66, 318-324 has adopted a New law granting greater protections to consumers... General, Twedt 's ( 1983 ) data privacy violations the common and! Risks to the positive effects of informed consent is one method frequently used researchers... You will learn about the definition of research, Vol ( 1981 ), Tea Room Trade our paper ethical! Flow, less information may be helpful in establishing trust with respondents so that it is beyond the scope any. Issue has been writing for law firms, corporations and nonprofit organizations since 1995 a setting... On police activities, for example, the research process should be exception... The public first, norms promote the aims of research Ethics is a vast subject, interviews-is. The marketing discipline is still of concern to marketing professionals: both in industry and academia, has... In which researchers can help each other is by including ethical concerns their.

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