M. Wallendorf and P. Anderson, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 1-4. 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. Chicago, IL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 4. 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. The Welfare of the Subject Takes Precedence Over All Other Research Decisions. Research … Confidentiality means that although the researcher knows who the respondent is, identity or information shared within the research context will not be revealed. Obviously, as researchers venture forth into the field in search of more intimate information, maintaining confidentiality becomes more difficult. (1964), "Some Aspects of Ethics in Marketing Research," Journal of Marketing Research, 1 (2), 26-31. Studying social worker/client relations, Johnson (1975) found that establishing trust was one of the most difficult parts of a field project. 4. (1963), "Selection of a Target for Defensive Projection," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 318-324. But there are implications of market research, both the design and delivery, that go beyond a specific project or client engagement. 2. One way in which researchers can help each other is by including ethical concerns in their publications. It appears that promising the youths confidentiality, "primed" them to become suspicious that the information would not remain confidential. Another issue particularly critical when addressing sensitive topics is respondent confidentiality. (1963), "Selection of a Target for Defensive Projection," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 318-324. 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. Berscheid, Ellen, Robert Steven Baron, Marshall Dermer, and Mark Libman (1973), "Anticipating Informed Consent," American Psychologist, 28 (October), 913-925. When In Doubt: Pre-Test. Farmer, Richard N. (1987), "Would You Want Your Granddaughter to Marry a Taiwanese Marketing Man?," Journal of Marketing, 51 (October), 111-116. 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 … Schouten, John W. (1991), "Selves in Transition: Symbolic Consumption in Personal Rites of Passage and Identity Reconstruction," Journal of Consumer Research, 17 (March), 412-425. Information or data collected from respondents should not used for any other purpose or for any other research work. Market researchers must adhere to high ethical standards at all times: … 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. For example, prohibitions … In this article, we identify resources for ethical decision … The Insights Association represents companies and corporate research, insights and data analytics departments, and individuals working in the marketing, opinion and social research and data analytics industry and profession. Researchers who allow their own prejudices to skew their work tend to contribute to the perpetuation of stereotypes in advertising, the development of destructive social constructs and the enabling of unjust profiting from poverty. 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. 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. Alexander, Lois (1983), "Proposed Legislation to Improve Statistical and Research Access to Federal Regulations," in Solutions to Ethical and Legal Problems in Social Research, eds. Further example of this type of ethical dilemma includes the infamous "Milgram Studies" of the early sixties (e.g., Milgram 1963) involving subjects who thought they had administered electrical shocks to the point of "killing" confederates posing as subjects. Van Maanen, John (1983), "The Moral Fix: On the Ethics of Fieldwork," in Contemporary Field Research: A Collection of Readings, ed. However, the use of deception in the field poses a different set of issues. Again, it depends on the research project and respondent pool. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members. Under anonymous data collection procedures, assuring confidentiality is assumed because the researcher is unaware of respondent identity. Research Wonks, the premier industry forum for professionals in media and advertising research, analytics and data science, today announces its inaugural event, Ad Measurement NEXT, sponsored by DISQO. Blankenship, A.B. 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. Ethical Boundaries With Customer Profiling, Government Regulations That Affect Marketing in Retail, Identity Theft Procedures for Lending Institutions, CFRinc.net: Best Practices for Dealing with Market Research Ethics, Cleverism: Social Responsibility & Ethics in Marketing, Greenbookblog.com: California’s Mini GDPR and It What It Means For Market Research, Journal of Macromarketing: The General Theory of Marketing Ethics - A Revision and Three Questions, Marketing Research Association: The Code of Marketing Research. While these protections are in place, legal and ethical issues arise because the majority of consumers … Chihling Liu, Lancaster University, UK, Philip M. Fernbach, University of Colorado, USA Marketing research has experienced a resurgence with the widespread use of the internet and the popularity of social networking. When interviewing people on sensitive topics, the researcher needs to be as prepared as possible to handle difficult situations if they arise. Milgram, Stanley (1963) "Behavioral Study of Obedience," Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 67, 371-378. It appears that promising the youths confidentiality, "primed" them to become suspicious that the information would not remain confidential. However, the changing context of current consumer research raises new implications for both of these issues. Some social science researchers maintain that deception is necessary to further the progress of science. This article will outline some of the common ethical and legal issues in marketing. Reamer, Frederic G. (1979), "Protecting Research Subjects and Unintended Consequences: The Effect of Guarantees of Confidentiality," Public Opinion Quarterly, 43 (Winter), 497-506. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (1979), Who Should Know What? Hill, Ronald Paul (1993), "A Primer for Ethnographic Research With a Focus on Social Policy Issues Involving Consumer Behavior," in Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. O'Guinn, Thomas C. and Ronald J. Faber (1989), "Compulsive Buying: A Phenomenological Exploration," Journal of Consumer Research, 16 (September), 147-157. 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). Hirschman, Elizabeth C. (1993) "Ideology in Consumer Research, 1980 and 1990: A Marxist and Feminist Critique," Journal of Consumer Research, 19 (March), 537-555. 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. One of the most serious ethical considerations involved in market research is invasion of privacy. As a result, … In many instances, the customer does not know or understand the extent of the company's infiltration into his life. (1962), "A Dissonance Theory Approach to Defensive Projection," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 64, 121-129. Epstein, Yakov M., Peter Suedfeld, and Stanley J. Silverstein (1973), "The Experimental Contract," American Psychologist, 28 (March), 212-221. HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF ETHICAL ISSUES IN MARKETING. However, non-positivistic paradigms as well as exploration of non-traditional consumer behavior topics have expanded the domain of consumer research. Joan E. Sieber New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 191-207. Such a situation, with three major players the producer, […] Just as the marketing concept revolves around the customer, so too should consumer research focus on the welfare of the respondent. When evaluating the use of deception in the field, researchers should consider several issues. In addition to including social issues, consumer researchers have also begun to utilize a wide cadre of research methods relatively new to our discipline. Alexander, Lois (1983), "Proposed Legislation to Improve Statistical and Research Access to Federal Regulations," in Solutions to Ethical and Legal Problems in Social Research, eds. This spring, we’re unveiling the AMA’s first ever intellectual agenda in our almost 80-year history that features what we believe are the “seven big problems” confronting marketing. Research Wonks, the premier industry forum for professionals in media and advertising research… 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. Robert M. Emerson, Prospect Heights, IL: Waneland Press, 269-287. There are four main areas that come up regularly. Barnes (1979) argued that deception is an integral part of all social relations. Chicago, IL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 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. Farmer, Richard N. (1977), "Would You Want Your Son to Marry a Marketing Lady?," Journal of Marketing, 41 (January), 15-18. 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. Hence, improving the public image of the marketing discipline is still of concern to marketing professionals: both in industry and academia. Leaders in the field of consumer behavior have pleaded for research that will benefit society and its consumers (e.g., Belk 1987). Ethical Issues in. 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. Given the inevitability of ethical dilemmas in marketing research, well-established ethical guidelines are critical for their resolution. Jane Sojka and Eric R. Spangenberg (1994) ,"Ethical Concerns in Marketing Research", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 21, eds. The physical proximity of the respondent-researcher relationship changes as well. Ethical Issues in Marketing Research - Free download as Word Doc (.doc / .docx), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. What do you do now? 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. Farmer, Richard N. (1967), "Would you Want Your Daughter to Marry a Marketing Man?," Journal of Marketing, 31 (January), 1-3. Indeed this program of research served as an impetus for psychologists to confront many of the ethical issues now before consumer researchers. Second, good research design entails anticipating outcomes: ethical questions arising in the research process should be no exception. In addition to including social issues, consumer researchers have also begun to utilize a wide cadre of research methods relatively new to our discipline. Ethical Considerations of Marketing Research . The ease with which a company can access and gather data about its customers can lead to deceptive practices and dishonesty in the company's research methods. Consumer research often includes pretesting to insure valid results; it is often equally feasible to pretest ethical concerns (Berscheid, Baron, Dermer, and Libman 1973). He reports being in "a moral fix" (p. 275). Whether or not researchers choose to reveal their purpose depends upon the research topic, design, and the observed population. Particularly when researching illegal activities or behaviors that might encourage illegal acts, protection of respondent confidentiality becomes an even thornier dilemma. 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). Further, companies can be faced with a public backlash if their market research practices are perceived as unethical. In dutifully looking out for your respondents' best interests, you have, of course guaranteed confidentiality of all information exchanged in the interview process. become sick, you have to conduct research on individuals, not on groups,” the researchers say. 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. This donation is seen in counseling circles as restitution for making a living off of other people's misfortune. Steiner, Robert L. (1976), "The Prejudice Against Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 40 (July), 2-9. 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. 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. As they ask questions, supposedly in the name of research, they are in fact gaining information about a potential sales lead or even leading the person toward developing a bias for a particular product. Rather, deception by way of not revealing all details about one's self is an accepted part of human relations. 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 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. By examining research ethics from other disciplines, we see that there are few absolute answers when dealing with ethical questions; each research project needs to be considered on an individual basis. Business ethics (also known as corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical … An understanding of ethical issues involved in marketing research may contribute to the quality of research data. Claire Renzetti and Raymond M. Lee, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 249-266. Studying social worker/client relations, Johnson (1975) found that establishing trust was one of the most difficult parts of a field project. Journal of Marketing, 27 (March), 48-50. Ethical advertising has become challenging these days, given that a lot of marketing strategies that tackles a global political issue can sometimes be misleading. The marketing researcher facilitates the flow of information from the market or customer to the producer of the good or service. 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. Another deceptive technique is known as SUGGING , the practice of selling under the guise of research. Bissell, LeClair and James E. Royce (1987), Ethics for Addiction Counselors, Center City, MN: Hazelton Foundation. Humphreys, L. (1970), Tea Room Trade. Will subjects alter their behavior as a result of a non-deceptive investigation? By increasing the scope of consumer research to include social issues, and by utilizing qualitative research methods, researchers are finding themselves closer to their subjects: both in terms of physical proximity and level of intimacy. 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. 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). 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. © 2020 Association for Consumer Research, The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (JACR). The company uses this information to reach the customer with targeted advertising, but the process of targeting can have a chilling effect on personal freedom. ----------------------------------------, Advances in Consumer Research Volume 21, 1994      Pages 392-396, Eric R. Spangenberg, Washington State University. For example, in the state of Washington, if child abuse is discovered, the researcher must report it to the police and to his/her supervisor within 24 hours. Van Maanen, John (1983), "The Moral Fix: On the Ethics of Fieldwork," in Contemporary Field Research: A Collection of Readings, ed. Also encouraging ethical research practices, the first volume of The Journal of Marketing Research devoted space to an article addressing ethical concerns in marketing research (Blankenship 1964). Consider the Cost/Benefit of the Research Project. 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. Bramel, D. A. 1. 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. (1964), "Some Aspects of Ethics in Marketing Research," Journal of Marketing Research, 1 (2), 26-31. Below are general guidelines that consumer researchers might wish to consider prior to undertaking a project. Twedt, Dik Warren (1963), "Why a Marketing Research Code of Ethics?" Ethical Issues in Research . The physical proximity of the respondent-researcher relationship changes as well. Jane Sojka, Washington State University 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. Anticipation of potential consequences might also be an alternative to serving jail time. Do the potential research benefits outweigh risks to the respondent and researcher? Assuming and maintaining respondent confidentiality on even sensitive topics is fairly straightforward; withholding illegal information is an entirely different matter. If a researcher is engaging in research that might uncover such information, alerting his/her department chair prior to the probability is advisable. While far from encompassing every situation a researcher may encounter, these guidelines might at least encourage researchers to ask "what if...?," thus raising the awareness of ethical issues in consumer research. My Science Work. He noted an ingenious sociologist studying drug peddlers. 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. 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. Business ethics (also known as corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. Kelman, Herbert C. (1967), "Human Use of Human Subjects: The Problem of Deception in Social Psychological Experiments," Psychological Bulletin 67, 1-11. Companies regularly share information about customers with partners and affiliates, requiring the customer to opt-out of the sharing if he doesn't want to be involved. The Code offers fair and transparent enforcement and adjudication processes to MRA members and the public. Chicago, IL: Aldine. Learning how other consumer researchers have confronted these difficult issues would be helpful for future research purposes and would contribute toward development of additional guidelines. Hence, concerns about ethical research practices which were irrelevant to consumer researchers in the past, should now be addressed. By examining how other researchers have handled ethical elements in their work, consumer researchers will begin questioning ethical implications of their own research. Chris T. Allen and Deborah Roedder John, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 392-396. Tybout, Alice M. and Gerald Zaltman (1974), "Ethics in Marketing Research: Their Practical Relevance," Journal of Marketing Research, 11 (November), 357-368. 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). Schouten, John W. (1991), "Selves in Transition: Symbolic Consumption in Personal Rites of Passage and Identity Reconstruction," Journal of Consumer Research, 17 (March), 412-425. Leaders in the field of consumer behavior have pleaded for research that will benefit society and its consumers (e.g., Belk 1987). 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. In this case the … When interviewing people on sensitive topics, the researcher needs to be as prepared as possible to handle difficult situations if they arise. Hirschman, Elizabeth C. and Morris Holbrook (1992), Postmodern Consumer Research, Newbury Park, CA: Sage. CONFIDENTIALITY Another issue particularly critical when addressing sensitive topics is respondent confidentiality. U.S. Public Health Service (1969), Protection of the Individual as a Research Subject, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 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. REFERENCES Adler, Patricia A. and Peter Adler (1993), "Ethical Issues in Self-Censorship," in Researching Sensitive Topics, eds. Farmer, Richard N. (1977), "Would You Want Your Son to Marry a Marketing Lady?," Journal of Marketing, 41 (January), 15-18. Their asylum was tentative and, if revoked, could result in dire consequences at the hands of U.S. military command. And how transactions should be conducted confidentiality may be helpful in establishing trust with respondents in laboratory! Researcher and respondent ( s ) the business relationship will exist and how transactions should be the concern... Have not already experienced similar situations, they did not consider deceptive field research of selling the. 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