a business organization. Companies must ensure they follow all levels of ethical behavior when any activity is
performed at their premises; especially activities related to business research. Business research is the
systematic inquisition that provides information to direct managerial decisions (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). Its
purpose is to allow companies access to valuable information on company policies, customer service and
consumer buying habits. Business owners can use this information to discover which products and services are
important to the public, worker morale and behaviors, as well as what they can do to set themselves apart from
the competition. However, wrong methods and/or unethical research conduct can obscure results and lead to the
damage of a companies’ process, financial statue and image.
An example of unethical business research can be found in the 2004 discrimination lawsuit against
the restaurant Cracker Barrel. A number of bad research methods contributed to the courts’ order to convict and
discipline the retailer for a number of consumer accusations. The leading cause of the court’s decision was the
companies’ bad research and investigations into the basic problems and the flawed information that was turned
into the Department of Justice following said investigation.
Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Old Country Store, a nationwide retail chain, underwent random testing
of its facilities and stores to monitor the possibility of racial bias in customer service. This research and
observation was not only to screen for the possibility of racism, but to expand culture and diversity training to
employees as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice on May 3, 2004. This agreement was made
after a number of African Americans (and other minority groups)...