When people think of ethics, they most often refer to morals. The two things do go hand in hand but there is much more to ethics than just morals. If morals were all that was needed in life then there wouldn’t be any issues in the corporate world. Ethics are important because it creates a design that everybody has to follow especially when making decisions that are going to affect other people. When there is research happening in the corporate world it is common for smaller issues or people to get swept under the rug. Ethics ensures that everybody gets a heads up on what is occurring and gets treated fairly during this process.
There are a few reasons why ethics are important during research. When research is being done there is always a risk of mistakes being made and for there to be dishonesty. Dishonesty can occur if the researcher doesn’t look at the data that has been researched and use it to their advantage for the bettering of the corporation. This can lead to disorganization and can completely wither away at the effort that has been made to do the research. The whole aim of research is to be able to obtain knowledge, truth, and avoidance of error; and that is what ethics helps to promote (Resnik, David 2011).
There is also truth to the fact that people working together need to adhere to ethical codes. Ethical codes during times of working together is a must have. It serves as a reminder that people deserve to be treated fairly and helps with coordination and cooperation. Cooperation is key when doing research because everybody needs to come together during this time (Resnik, David 2011). There could also be issues with copyrighting and data sharing policies. Researchers want to receive credit for their accomplishments were it is due; and ethics helps to keep the balance of integrity in this aspect as well (Resnik, David 2011). When a corporation has a great reputation as far as ethics and integrity, it is more likely that they corporation will obtain a larger amount of funding. Once people trust that the research has ethics behind it the funding will increase when more people are alright with trusting their reputation (Resnik, David 2011).
There is a great deal of importance behind adhering to ethical codes, so much so, that many different organizations, even government organizations, have a strict code of conduct or rules that they follow (Resnik, David 2011). There are several basic rules that the ethical code must consist of. The principals that are included in any ethical code of conduct are: honesty, objectivity, integrity, carefulness, openness, respect for intellectual property, confidentiality, responsible publication, responsible mentoring, respect for colleagues (Resnik, David 2011).
It isn’t enough that these key principals are posted on the wall inside of the organization or even just said a couple of times. These principals must be followed by the leaders of groups and reiterated to other colleagues and partners. Interpretation must be given for each one of those principals; providing an example of each principal in the business world would help to give people a better understanding what the ethics are to follow. The same rules do not always apply to the key principals at hand so it is very important to have interpretations of each principal each given with a different kind of example (Resnik, David 2011).
There are a few other ways to ensure that people follow the ethics that have been explained to them. There is such a committee known as the ethics committee, and they ensure that ethics are followed on a regular basis (Gelling, Leslie 1999). Research ethics committee are there to protect the ethical decisions made when there are human subjects present and involved with the research (Gelling, Leslie 1999). The ethical code must be easy to follow and the ethical committee is there to make sure that everybody understands the codes of ethics when it comes to performing research (Gelling, Leslie (1999). The ethics committee also ensures that the rights of participants who are doing research are protected (Gelling, Leslie 1999). The way they can make sure the rights are protected is by ensuring that participants understand the ethics. If they don’t understand the ethics then they aren’t going to fully understand whether or not they are being treated fairly (Gelling, Leslie 1999). The ethics committee also ensures that researchers have adequate resources with which to perform their research (Gelling, Leslie 1999). The research ethics committee also has an obligation to the researcher and every one of those obligations should be met. The research ethics committee is there to make sure that the ethics put in place are followed through with.
Gelling, Leslie (1999). Role Of The Research Ethics Committee. Retrieved from, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0260691799903490
Resnik, David (2011). What Is Ethics In Research And Why Is It Important? Retrieved from, http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/