Lecture 4 – Ethical Issues in Marketing Research

*Moral Principles* or *Standards*
– They *guide behavior* in situations where there is a *risk* of causing actual or potential harm to respondents or clients… whether economic, physical, or psychological.
*Professional Standards of Conduct*
Principles that reflect beliefs about what is ethical or unethical
(i.e. Good or Bad, Right or Wrong, Just or Unjust, Fair or Unfair)
Main Ethical Issues in Marketing Research
– Privacy
– Confidentiality
– Imposition
– Integrity
– Misrepresenation
*Marketing Ethics*
the application of morals to behaviors related to the *exchange environment*
*Ethical Dilemma*
Refers to a situation in which one chooses from alternative courses of action, each with different ethical implications
(i.e. Legal, Responsive, Responsible)
*Relativism*
a term that reflects the degree to which one *rejects moral standards* in favor of the acceptability of some action
*Idealism*
a term that reflects the degree to which one bases one’s actions on *moral standards*
Everyone involved in marketing research can face an ethical dilemma:
– the people actually performing the research
– the research client, sponsor, or management team requesting the research (the “users” of the research)
– the participants, meaning the actual respondents or subjects
Each party has certain…
*rights* and *obligations* towards the other parties.
Rights and Obligations of a *Research participant*
Rights:
– to be informed
– to privacy
Obligations:
– to be truthful
– to protect data
*Informed consent*
when the participant understands what the researcher wants the participant to do and *consents* to the study
*Confidentiality*
the information involved in research *will not be shared with others*
Rights and Obligations of the *Researcher*
The researcher should:
– understand the purpose of research is for research
– maintain objectivity
– protect the confidentiality of both subjects and clients
– avoid dissemination of faulty conclusions
*Misrepresentation* of Research
– to honestly present results
– to honestly report errors
*Confidentiality* (researcher)
To avoid conflicts of interest when one researcher works for two competing companies
*Dissemination of Faulty Conclusions*
to not knowingly make conclusions from a research project or service that are *inconsistent* with or *not warranted* by the data
Rights and Obligations of the *Client Sponsor (User)*
Issues in Client-Researcher Relationship:
– ethical behavior between buyer and seller
– an open relationship with research suppliers
– privacy rights of research participants