The ethics of organizational research: Methodological considerations for ensuring respondents’ anonymity and confidentiality

Abstract

When planning any research in an organization, it is necessary to decide upon the types of personal data to be collected. Ethical research principles suggest that researchers need to ensure participants’ anonymity and confidential treatment of their data. However, researchers tend to collect various types of demographic information which might lead participants to believe that their anonymity could be compromised. This article highlights some methodological considerations aimed at ensuring respondents’ anonymity and confidential treatment of their data. It also presents two examples which highlight some potential problems that might arise when respondents feel that the anonymity and confidentiality of their data are threatened. Finally, the article proposes specific actions researchers can take to increase participants’ trust in them and the employed research designs.

Keywords

organizational research, anonymity, confidentiality

How to Cite

Czarnota-Bojarska, J., (2021) “The ethics of organizational research: Methodological considerations for ensuring respondents’ anonymity and confidentiality”, EWOP in Practice 15(1), 54–65. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/ewopinpractice.87141

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Joanna Czarnota-Bojarska (University of Warsaw)

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