The Human Rights and Ethical Dilemmas Facing Marketing Research in an Ever Expanding Business Market
What is ethical and unethical when it comes to information gathering on a group of people or an individual? This is a question that has been debated and pondered over for many years. As social mediums, technology, and social and economic statuses change at rates that have never been seen on this type of global scale in human history it can be hard to tell. I will delve into situations and dilemmas that marketers find themselves in, on a day to day basis when doing research. Before we can go into the ethical and philosophical questions of your everyday marketer we first have to come to understand of what marketing ethics are.
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From that individuals perspective they paid for the study so they own the results and the specific information that it entails. This is a pretty cut and dry situation if your only looking at the rules, but one of the major causes of lapses of ethical standing is the peer pressure of another human being, and saying marketers are trained and talented when it comes to convincing people of what is “good” for them this is a tough situation to be in. The rules in this situation are that you cannot give out the respondents’ information for non-research purposes without the permission of the respondent. Another scenario would be that you have a personal interview questionnaire. No matter, what you try you cannot shorten it any more than what it is. You try to make it less than 30 minutes, but you couldn’t reach that number while making all your objectives. You know participants are unlikely to participate if they know the personal interview will last longer than 30 minutes. Your boss tell you to tell the participants that the interview will only take a “few minutes.” Do you inform the participants or do you lie to them? This is a hard situation because if you tell the participants than you won’t get all the information you need, and you will have a boss that is very upset with you. If you don’t tell the participants you are breaking ESOMAR guidelines (2012) by knowingly misleading