Strategies for Teaching Research Ethics in Business, Management and Organisational Studies


  • Linda Naimi


Research, ethics, business, management, organisation, case studies


Ethics education has become increasingly important in the wake of recent corporate scandals and reported scientific misconduct. The pressure to succeed has spurred the emergence of a 'cheating culture' (Callahan, 2004). Callahan suggests that ethics — i.e., integrity, honesty and fairness — is losing ground to a market‑driven economy and culture that rewards self‑interest, self‑gratification, and amoral behaviour. As educators, we are committed to providing students with the preparation, mentoring and guidance they need to address ethical issues that arise in their academic, professional and personal lives. We need to serve as positive role models to encourage ethical conduct. Nowhere is this more critical than in the area of research, particularly human subject research. To ensure integrity in research, students and faculty must demonstrate that they understand the ethical and legal ramifications of their work prior to initiating any research. In addition to legal requirements, universities now use a variety of creative approaches designed to promote integrity in personal and professional conduct. This paper discusses effective strategies for teaching research ethics to undergraduate and graduate students in business, management and organisational studies. Strategies include online interactive training modules, case studies, role‑playing, action research, critical inquiry, simulations, the Socratic Method, interest triggers, and research analysis. This paper also includes a brief look at LANGURE, an NSF funded national initiative involving over one hundred faculty and students at eight land grant and historically black universities in the United States. LANGURE is developing a model curriculum in research ethics for doctoral candidates in the physical, social and life sciences, and engineering.



1 Jul 2007