Clearly, most researchers agree that the privacy of respondents should be respected (Hill 1993; Spradley 1980). 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). Ethical Issues in Market Research. However, global aspects of pharmaceutical marketing have been almost completely ignored, whereas other research on ethical issues in pharmaceutical marketing was primarily conducted during the 1990s and early 2000s and mostly outside of marketing … By raising ethical issues, the discipline of consumer behavior can hopefully continue to grow and expand to make a positive contribution towards peace: "the one which all thought, feeling and ultimately all scholarship should aspire" (Hirschman and Holbrook 1992, p.126). While these protections are in place, legal and ethical issues arise because the majority of consumers … Hence, concerns about ethical research practices which were irrelevant to consumer researchers in the past, should now be addressed. Nicholas Light, University of Colorado, USA 1. Sagrin (1973), on the other hand, challenged researchers to respect the rights of people who do not wish to be researched. Ethical advertising has become challenging these days, given that a lot of marketing strategies that tackles a global political issue can sometimes be misleading. Also, informed consent may bias field research. Ethical Issues in. Finally, our paper presents ethical guidelines for researchers to consider when designing research. Some social science researchers maintain that deception is necessary to further the progress of science. Jane Sojka, Washington State University ----------------------------------------, Advances in Consumer Research Volume 21, 1994      Pages 392-396, Eric R. Spangenberg, Washington State University. Instead of encoding a survey from an anonymous student at a large university, researchers come face-to-face with respondents in a variety of situations. The challenge is to choose one of the right size that expresses appreciation but doesn’t compromise the integrity of the client or the marketing organization. For example, if anticipating the possibility of uncovering illegal information, it might be wise to inform the respondent in advance about the researcher's legal obligation. This type of ethical problem can run the gamut — from not telling customers that information is being collected when they visit a website to misrepresenting research results by using faulty data. Robert M. Emerson, Prospect Heights, IL: Waneland Press, 269-287. The role of researchers, according to the American Anthropological Association, is "to do everything in [the researchers'] power to protect their [respondents'] physical, social, and psychological welfare and to honor and respect their dignity and privacy" (Spradley 1980, p. 21). Rose, Randall L., William O. Bearden, and Jesse E. Teel (1992), "An Attributional Analysis of Resistance to Group Pressure Regarding Illicit Drug and Alcohol Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, 19 (September), 1-13. By examining how other researchers have handled ethical elements in their work, consumer researchers will begin questioning ethical implications of their own research. For example, prohibitions … Under anonymous data collection procedures, assuring confidentiality is assumed because the researcher is unaware of respondent identity. At the conclusion of each taped interview, the tape was dropped in a mailbox and sent to a researcher in Canada to be transcribed and analyzed; thus keeping the raw data out of reach of a U.S. subpoena. 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. Joan E. Sieber New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 191-207. Market Research Any action that uses lies and deception to find out or establish information about consumer opinions falls under this category. Alternative Approaches To Maintaining Confidentiality Particularly when researching illegal activities or behaviors that might encourage illegal acts, protection of respondent confidentiality becomes an even thornier dilemma. He reports being in "a moral fix" (p. 275). Johnson, John M. (1975), Doing Field Research, New York, NY: Free Press. With this method, a salesman contacts an individual by phone posing as a market researcher. In dutifully looking out for your respondents' best interests, you have, of course guaranteed confidentiality of all information exchanged in the interview process. Anticipation of potential consequences might also be an alternative to serving jail time. (1963), "Selection of a Target for Defensive Projection," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 318-324. While living next door to a drug dealer, the Adlers had opportunity for inside observation of the intricacies of drug marketing activities. Ethical News (non Marketing) December 4, 2020 Stuart Mitchell 0 Alzheimer’s Research UK partners with global leaders including Bill Gates to revolutionise detection of neurodegenerative diseases In fact, everyone in business is wise to develop moral fibers, because ethical … Chicago, IL: Aldine. Ethical Issues in Market Research What are the kind of things we, as consumers, are worried about? Ethical Issues Of Marketing Ethics 1924 Words | 8 Pages. This article will outline some of the common ethical and legal issues in marketing. The marketing researcher facilitates the flow of information from the market or customer to the producer of the good or service. Field work and in-depth interviews usually require interviewing or observing participants on more than one occasion; hence, subjects are viewed less as a sample population and considered co-workers in the investigation of a research question. Steiner (1976) noted that prejudices against marketing date back as far as ancient Greece. While it might be tempting for a researcher to pose as an addict or even to capitalize on an addiction to gain access to a group, using information gained from restricted organizations is, at best, ethically questionable. U.S. Public Health Service (1969), Protection of the Individual as a Research Subject, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 14. eds. Van Maanen, John (1983), "The Moral Fix: On the Ethics of Fieldwork," in Contemporary Field Research: A Collection of Readings, ed. Informed consent is one method frequently used by researchers to assure respondents of confidentiality. One way in which researchers can help each other is by including ethical concerns in their publications. Our members are the world's leading providers of intelligence, analytics and insights into the needs, attitudes and behaviors of consumers, companies and organizations. 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. Although directed primarily at marketing practitioners rather than academicians, the code was prompted by three main issues: (1) the desire to maintain public confidence in marketing research procedures; (2) the need to self-regulate the discipline before outsiders decided marketing research needed regulation; and (3) the concern to maintain a positive public image of marketing in general. Wallendorf, Melanie and Eric J. Arnould (1991), "'We Gather Together': Consumption Rituals of Thanksgiving Day," Journal of Consumer Research, 18 (June), 13-31. In contrast, locating homosexuals by recording their license plate numbers while they are engaged in supposedly secret homosexual activity poses quite a different situation (Humphreys 1970). The simple heuristic-a subject should never be worse-off as a result of participating in a consumer research project-is a reasonable approach. It is easier than ever before for companies to connect directly with customers and collect individual information that goes into a computer database to be matched with other pieces of data collected during unrelated transactions. M. Wallendorf and P. Anderson, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 1-4. Field work and in-depth interviews usually require interviewing or observing participants on more than one occasion; hence, subjects are viewed less as a sample population and considered co-workers in the investigation of a research question. He could obey the subpoena and, via his notes, provide incriminating evidence of police brutality or he could refuse to comply, thus protecting patrol officers with whom he had worked. © 2020 Association for Consumer Research, The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (JACR). Introduction Historical context of ethical … At least initially, promises of confidentiality may be helpful in establishing trust with respondents so that meaningful and valid data is obtained. In a desperate bid to compel potential and existing … Second, good research design entails anticipating outcomes: ethical questions arising in the research process should be no exception. Although directed primarily at marketing practitioners rather than academicians, the code was prompted by three main issues: (1) the desire to maintain public confidence in marketing research procedures; (2) the need to self-regulate the discipline before outsiders decided marketing research needed regulation; and (3) the concern to maintain a positive public image of marketing in general. Consider the Cost/Benefit of the Research Project. The reality of current consumer research suggests that if researchers have not already experienced similar situations, they soon may. Farmer, Richard N. (1987), "Would You Want Your Granddaughter to Marry a Taiwanese Marketing Man?," Journal of Marketing, 51 (October), 111-116. Kelman, Herbert C. (1967), "Human Use of Human Subjects: The Problem of Deception in Social Psychological Experiments," Psychological Bulletin 67, 1-11. When interviewing people on sensitive topics, the researcher needs to be as prepared as possible to handle difficult situations if they arise. Another significant ethical consideration involved in market research involves breaches of confidentiality. Similarly, organizations open to the public (such as Alcholics Anonymous) who willingly welcome individuals trying to overcome addictions may not wish to be used as research venues. 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. In this example, the research topic changes the level of intimacy between the consumer researcher and respondent(s). Consumer researchers may wish the above scenario was a vision from the twilight zone and nothing close to a situation they might encounter. Reamer, Frederic G. (1979), "Protecting Research Subjects and Unintended Consequences: The Effect of Guarantees of Confidentiality," Public Opinion Quarterly, 43 (Winter), 497-506. He lamented that there are still "large numbers of vociferous critics who see nothing good in a field that tries to figure out, among other things, how to influence 10-year olds to demand something they do not need and cannot even use" (Farmer 1987, p. 111). Sagrin (1973), on the other hand, challenged researchers to respect the rights of people who do not wish to be researched. If a researcher is engaging in research that might uncover such information, alerting his/her department chair prior to the probability is advisable. Chicago, IL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Barnes, J.A. In fact, everyone in business is wise to develop moral fibers, because ethical problems often lead to legal problems, which bite into profits -- not to mention your career ladder. In this example, the research topic changes the level of intimacy between the consumer researcher and respondent(s). Will the project cause the subjects any inconvenience? Consumer buying behavior. Obviously, as researchers venture forth into the field in search of more intimate information, maintaining confidentiality becomes more difficult. Robert M. Emerson, Prospect Heights, IL: Waneland Press, 269-287. Ethical Issues Of Marketing Ethics 1924 Words | 8 Pages. Ethical issues in research is a topic worth discovering because it helps a person conducting a study to do their job in a quality way. Reamer, Frederic G. (1979), "Protecting Research Subjects and Unintended Consequences: The Effect of Guarantees of Confidentiality," Public Opinion Quarterly, 43 (Winter), 497-506. For example, Reamer (1979), in a study of juvenile status offenders (youths who have committed offenses that would not be considered crimes if committed by adults, such as running away from home), found that assuring subjects of confidentiality resulted in fewer responses to information about sensitive topics. While empirical researchers are always careful to publish 'p' values establishing the "significance" of their results, ethical considerations should be of equal importance. The physical proximity of the respondent-researcher relationship changes as well. Milgram, Stanley (1963) "Behavioral Study of Obedience," Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 67, 371-378. Kelman (1967), however, noted ethical problems in controlled laboratory studies by Bramel (1962; 1963) for example, in which male undergraduates were led to believe they were sexually aroused by photographs of men. Knerr (1982) suggests researchers take the following precautions to minimize the threat of legal action: (1) desensitize the research through design and statistical techniques rendering the data useless to legal authorities, or (2) store the data with a researcher residing outside the U.S. Farmer, Richard N. (1967), "Would you Want Your Daughter to Marry a Marketing Man?," Journal of Marketing, 31 (January), 1-3. think about issues that arise when research involves human or animal subjects Should MRA’s Standards and Ethics Committee (SEC) be made aware of circumst… Marketing and advertising have a significant impact on public perceptions. The reality of current consumer research suggests that if researchers have not already experienced similar situations, they soon may. Furthermore, the success of non-survey research-such as participant observation, field work, and interviews-is largely based on trust between researcher and respondent. 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. Market researchers must adhere to high ethical standards at all times: … Kidder, Lousisett (1981), Research Methods in Social Relations, Chicago, IL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. At the conclusion of each taped interview, the tape was dropped in a mailbox and sent to a researcher in Canada to be transcribed and analyzed; thus keeping the raw data out of reach of a U.S. subpoena. Milgram, Stanley (1963) "Behavioral Study of Obedience," Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 67, 371-378. According to the law, you must report child abuse; at the same time you have promised your respondent confidentiality in return for his willingness to share sensitive information. This paper examines how disciplines outside of marketing have handled sensitive ethical issues and offers general guidelines for consumer researchers to consider when faced with decisions regarding research ethics. Business ethics (also known as corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical … When In Doubt: Pre-Test. Instead of encoding a survey from an anonymous student at a large university, researchers come face-to-face with respondents in a variety of situations. The Welfare of the Subject Takes Precedence Over All Other Research Decisions. Hence, the broadened domain of consumer research makes it necessary to look beyond marketing guidelines alone for prescriptions to ethical questions. Rose, Randall L., William O. Bearden, and Jesse E. Teel (1992), "An Attributional Analysis of Resistance to Group Pressure Regarding Illicit Drug and Alcohol Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, 19 (September), 1-13. When interviewing people on sensitive topics, the researcher needs to be as prepared as possible to handle difficult situations if they arise. For example, a market researcher with a one-dimensional view of minorities could do a fair amount of harm if allowed to shape an advertising campaign based on skewed data collection. In studying how experimental subjects view their responsibility in a research project, Epstein, Suedfeld and Silverstein (1973) found that a higher percentage of subjects who had never participated in an experiment were more concerned about honesty. 20, ed. Indeed, initial concern about marketing ethics and the reputation of the marketing discipline were probably valid. Farmer, Richard N. (1967), "Would you Want Your Daughter to Marry a Marketing Man?," Journal of Marketing, 31 (January), 1-3. There are, however, exceptions to the positive effects of informed consent. However, the changing context of current consumer research raises new implications for both of these issues. Studying social worker/client relations, Johnson (1975) found that establishing trust was one of the most difficult parts of a field project. Subsequent research suggests that offering an informed consent to respondents may prompt a halo effect; that is, respondents informed about the research prior to beginning the interview and assured of confidentiality through informed consent, tend toward more positive evaluations of the researcher and the research process in general (Singer 1978). Journal of Marketing, 27 (March), 48-50. Humphreys, L. (1970), Tea Room Trade. Kidder, Lousisett (1981), Research Methods in Social Relations, Chicago, IL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Below are general guidelines that consumer researchers might wish to consider prior to undertaking a project. Anticipate Potential Ethical Conflicts Prior to Beginning the Research. would proceed exactly alike" (p.48), Twedt (1963) proposed a code of ethics. Van Maanen, John (1983), "The Moral Fix: On the Ethics of Fieldwork," in Contemporary Field Research: A Collection of Readings, ed. Thus, it might be best to observe them unobtrusively; it is less likely to cause any inconvenience or discomfort. Leaders in the field of consumer behavior have pleaded for research that will benefit society and its consumers (e.g., Belk 1987). To take this a step further, it would be admirable if researchers could say that their research leaves subjects better off than they were prior to engaging in the research. For example, researchers could ask addiction counselors (many of whom are recovering addicts) how they would feel if a researcher reported on an AA meeting. 4. Terry Masters has been writing for law firms, corporations and nonprofit organizations since 1995. (1962), "A Dissonance Theory Approach to Defensive Projection," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 64, 121-129. She holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a minor in finance. What do you do now? An extreme example was a group of Viet Nam era U.S. Army deserters given political asylum in Sweden. Ethical Issues in Marketing. Claire Renzetti and Raymond M. Lee, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 249-266. Humphreys, L. (1970), Tea Room Trade. The way a company conducts its market research these days can have serious ethical repercussions, affecting the lives of consumers in ways that have yet to be full… Joan E. Sieber New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 191-207. behavior, code of conduct, ability to distinguish between the good and the bad. Two major public policy an ethics issues in marketing research are intrusions on consumer privacy and: Misuse of research findings _____ is never simple, yet understanding it is the essential task of marketing management. Ethical issues in marketing research are certainly not new. Realizing that publication of their findings would legally jeopardize the drug-dealer who had become their friend, they elected to postpone publication of their work until their respondents had changed professions and the researchers had relocated. A basic role for a marketing researcher is that of intermediary between the producer of a product and the marketplace. behavior, code of conduct, ability to distinguish between the good and the bad. Ethics in Marketing Research! Ethical Issues in. Farmer, Richard N. (1987), "Would You Want Your Granddaughter to Marry a Taiwanese Marketing Man?," Journal of Marketing, 51 (October), 111-116. In this case the … In many instances, the customer does not know or understand the extent of the company's infiltration into his life. Knerr, Charles R. (1982), "What to Do Before and After a Subpeona Arrives," in The Ethics of Social Research: Surveys and Experiments, ed. The Welfare of the Subject Takes Precedence Over All Other Research Decisions. Hirschman, Elizabeth C. (1992), "The Consciousness of Addiction: Toward a General Theory of Compulsive Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, 19 (September), 155-179. For example, individuals don't necessarily "bare their souls" to casual acquaintances. The physical proximity of the respondent-researcher relationship changes as well. In general, ethical marketing is a process through which an organization or a company sells its products and services by using the fair means of ethical … Bramel, D. A. ADVERTISEMENTS: Ethics in Marketing Research! First, it is important that consumer researchers address ethical issues within the discipline before outsiders-such as the government, or university administrations-address them (Twedt 1963). 1. Research involves interaction with businesses or members of the general … Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Confidentiality means that although the researcher knows who the respondent is, identity or information shared within the research context will not be revealed. Deceptive research, where the true purpose of the experiment is masked, is not only frequently used, but may in fact be necessary in the laboratory to avoid demand artifacts which could influence results (Sawyer 1975). One of the most serious ethical considerations involved in market research is invasion of privacy. Her online articles specialize in legal, business and finance topics. While it is possible to encourage respondents to share sensitive information about topics such as drinking and sexual behavior without an informed consent (Blair, Sudman, Bradburn, and Stocking 1977), it may be helpful in improving the probability of valid responses. A final point to consider is the effect field work might have on subjects' behavior (Kidder 1981). Despite a growing focus on the ethical issues inherent in the investigation of human participants, academic researchers in marketing have given relatively scant attention to the uses of ethically questionable research … 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. Consumer research often includes pretesting to insure valid results; it is often equally feasible to pretest ethical concerns (Berscheid, Baron, Dermer, and Libman 1973). Focusing on this, it should be considered as an ethical obligation by the companies and they should take care of any kind of rules and regulations while conducting their marketing research. Consider the Cost/Benefit of the Research Project. In Humphrey's (1970) study of homosexual behavior in public restrooms, it is unlikely he would have obtained the same level of information by revealing his motives. While early ethical concerns in marketing focused on protecting the image and rights of the marketer, the current emphasis is shifting toward protecting the rights and privacy of respondents. Finally, our paper presents ethical guidelines for researchers to consider when designing research. Knerr, Charles R. (1982), "What to Do Before and After a Subpeona Arrives," in The Ethics of Social Research: Surveys and Experiments, ed. An understanding of ethical issues involved in marketing research may contribute to the quality of research data. While living next door to a drug dealer, the Adlers had opportunity for inside observation of the intricacies of drug marketing activities. In consumer research using student populations, for example, we must ask ourselves if the "extra-credit for participation" is in reality a course requirement due to the professor's implicit pressure in acquiring subjects. become sick, you have to conduct research on individuals, not on groups,” the researchers say. While researchers want to honor their commitment of respect towards subjects' desire for confidentiality, knowledge of illegal activity may place the research and researchers in jeopardy. Indeed this program of research served as an impetus for psychologists to confront many of the ethical issues now before consumer researchers. Alternative Approaches To Maintaining Confidentiality. become sick, you have to conduct research on individuals, not on groups,” the researchers say. 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. Epstein, Yakov M., Peter Suedfeld, and Stanley J. Silverstein (1973), "The Experimental Contract," American Psychologist, 28 (March), 212-221. Hence, the broadened domain of consumer research makes it necessary to look beyond marketing guidelines alone for prescriptions to ethical questions. The authors surmised that previous experience with deceptive research practices may have resulted in experienced subjects less willing to be honest in subsequent research. Gardner, Gerald T. (1978), "Effects of Federal Human Subjects Regulations on Data Obtained in Environmental Stressor Research," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36 (6), 628-634. Perhaps consumer researchers should take a cue from addiction counselors who are strongly encouraged to donate a portion of counseling hours to clients who can't afford to pay. As a result, marketers often get away with illegal and unethical behaviour. Our suggestions are far from exhaustive; in fact, it is hoped that other researchers will challenge and expand this list of considerations. Jane Sojka and Eric R. Spangenberg (1994) ,"Ethical Concerns in Marketing Research", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 21, eds. 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. The way a company conducts its market research these days can have serious ethical repercussions, impacting the lives of consumers in ways that have yet to be fully understood. RECOMMENDATIONS Just as the "caveat emptor" philosophy in the early days of marketing has been replaced with consumer rights, the focus of ethical research concerns has changed. Direct marketing is the most controversial of advertising channels, particularly … In contrast, locating homosexuals by recording their license plate numbers while they are engaged in supposedly secret homosexual activity poses quite a different situation (Humphreys 1970). Another deceptive technique is known as SUGGING , the practice of selling under the guise of research. Less likely to cause any inconvenience or discomfort above, he/she would not remain confidential ``! Do now is seen in counseling circles as restitution for making a living off other! 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