Oliver, J. and Eales, K., 2008. Research ethics: re-evaluating the consequentialist perspective of using covert participant observation in management research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 11 (3), 344 - 357 .
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Official URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/135227508108...
Purpose: This paper presents empirical evidence that focuses on the use of covert participant observation as a method of data collection and considers the ethical nature of this method as a means to create knowledge that leads to direct management action. This ethical debate centres on issues such as informed consent, rights and consequences. This paper develops the consequentialist argument by reflecting on our experiences of using covert participant observation and the consequences of using such a method in empirical management research. Methodology: Two empirical case studies, conducted independently of one another, highlight the choices we made and the justification for using covert participant observation as a means to investigate organisational issues. Findings: Whilst we conclude that this research method can be used effectively within an ethical framework, we suggest that researchers need to be more aware issues of the potential consequences on themselves in terms of the personal, emotional and trust issues that centre around deception when using covert participant observation. Research Implications: Researchers are now asked to consider the consequences on themselves of conducting covert participant observation, and in particular, to assess the potential problems arising in the form of emotional or personal implications when being deceptive. Originality of Paper: The ethical debate concerning the rights and consequences of conducting covert participant observation is extended to include a consideration of the consequences for the researcher pertaining to the collection and use of data using this research method. We go beyond the traditional aspects of the debate by extending it to consider the consequences on the researcher of using what is essentially research method based on deception.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||research ; ethics ; qualitative ; participant observation|
|Subjects:||Technology > Business, Management and Marketing|
|Group:||Media School > Institute for Media and Communication Research|
|Deposited By:||Dr John J. Oliver|
|Deposited On:||22 Oct 2012 14:04|
|Last Modified:||12 Nov 2012 15:47|
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- Research ethics: re-evaluating the consequentialist perspective of using covert participant observation in management research. (deposited 24 Jul 2008 16:46)
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