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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2008

John Oliver and Keith Eales

The purpose of this paper is to present empirical evidence that focuses on the use of covert participant observation as a method of data collection and consider the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present empirical evidence that focuses on the use of covert participant observation as a method of data collection and consider the ethical nature of this method as a means to create knowledge that leads to direct management action. This ethical debate centres on issues such as informed consent, rights and consequences. This paper develops the consequentialist argument by reflecting on experiences of using covert participant observation and the consequences of using such a method in empirical management research.

Design/methodology/approach

Conducted independently of one another, two empirical case studies highlight the choices made and the justification for using covert participant observation as a means to investigate organisational issues.

Findings

The paper concludes that this research method can be used effectively within an ethical framework and suggests that researchers need to be more aware of the potential consequences on themselves in terms of the personal, emotional and trust issues that centre around deception when using covert participant observation.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers are now asked to consider the consequences on themselves of conducting covert participant observation and, in particular, to assess the potential problems arising in the form of emotional or personal implications when being deceptive.

Originality/value

The ethical debate concerning the rights and consequences of conducting covert participant observation is extended to include a consideration of the consequences for the researcher pertaining to the collection and use of data using this research method. The paper goes beyond the traditional aspects of the debate by extending it to consider the consequences on the researcher of using what is essentially a research method based on deception.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2008

Len Tiu Wright

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342

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Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Book part
Publication date: 23 June 2017

David Grayson

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Take Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-292-3

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2015

Keith Hurst

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201

Abstract

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International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Take Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-292-3

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Book part
Publication date: 12 December 2003

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Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models: Twenty Years Later
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-253-5

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Book part
Publication date: 12 December 2003

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Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models: Twenty Years Later
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-253-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1974

Degussa have bought a large site near Mobile, Alabama, for a new subsidiary in the US. It will consist of two plants, one to manufacture methionine and the other Aerosil…

Abstract

Degussa have bought a large site near Mobile, Alabama, for a new subsidiary in the US. It will consist of two plants, one to manufacture methionine and the other Aerosil. The first development phase will begin early in 1974 and the plants are expected to be in production within two years. Degussa's investment will be some $36 million. Environmental costs alone will reach $5–6 million.

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Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1973

Current issues of Publishers' Weekly are reporting serious shortages of paper, binders board, cloth, and other essential book manufacturing materials. Let us assure you…

Abstract

Current issues of Publishers' Weekly are reporting serious shortages of paper, binders board, cloth, and other essential book manufacturing materials. Let us assure you these shortages are very real and quite severe.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1986

The mammoth proportions of Public Expenditure, its accountability, its control, must be one of the biggest problems any government has had to meet. Despite all its…

Abstract

The mammoth proportions of Public Expenditure, its accountability, its control, must be one of the biggest problems any government has had to meet. Despite all its counselling to the public spenders, its massive efforts to scale down the spending, there is extremely little to show for it. The Departments and State Services have become so large, they have outgrown government control; they are in fact forms of government in themselves. When a body established with a definite role becomes so big and powerful, as many of the authorities in the country have become, they tend to resent any form of control over them. History has many such examples in one form or another. Where an ocean divides them, the subordinate power may seek a separate nationhood for itself, as the American colonies did a couple of centuries or more ago. They chose the right moment to rebel when the home government sought to pass on extra levy on the importation of tea, which the Colonists turned into a slogan “no taxation without representation”. The truth, however, was they had outgrown the mother country and saw themselves as a new nation in a new land immensely rich in natural resources, riches all theirs for the taking. Much of the old country understood their aspirations and in the final settlement, the British were more than generous to them.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 88 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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