Business Research Ethics

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“Business research is defined as a systematic inquiry that provides information to guide managerial decisions. It is the process of planning, acquiring, analyzing, and disseminating relevant data, information, and insights to decisions makers in ways that mobilize the organization to take appropriate actions that maximize performance.” (Cooper & Schindler, 2011, p. 5) “Ethics is the concepts and fundamental principles of decent human conduct. It includes study of universal values such as the essential equality of all men and woman, human or natural rights, obedience to the law of land, concern for health and safety and, increasingly, also for the natural environment.” (Ethics, 2013) Business research and ethics go hand and hand. When companies conduct research there are laws of ethical behavior they are supposed to abide by. Yet that is not the case for many companies. An article from the San Francisco Chronicle, titled “Tobacco Giant Accused of Unethical Research.” describes how Philip Morris conducted unethical research for determining the possibility of hyperactive third-grade children becoming smokers and gave electric shocks and nicotine injections to college students to see if their cravings for smoking would increase or decrease. The research was done secretively and illegally. The study was shut down when school officials determined that access to the school and medical records was in violation to the privacy of the students. The studies for electric shock ended because the college students were fearful of the shocks. It was also found that Philip Morris knew nicotine was an addictive drug ten years prior to the surgeon general’s announcement that nicotine was an addictive drug. There are a number of unethical research behaviors that involved Philip Morris which were secretive research, the lack of concern to the health and safety of the six-grade and college students. The people affected by the unethical research behaviors of Philip Morris were the...
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