Researching from Within: Moral and Ethical Issues and Dilemmas

Floyd, Alan and Arthur, Linet (2010). Researching from Within: Moral and Ethical Issues and Dilemmas. In: SRHE Annual Conference, 11-13 Dec, Celtic Manor Resort, Wales.

URL: http://www.srhe.ac.uk/conference2010/abstracts/010...

Abstract

With the proliferation of taught research degrees over the last few years, the number of people undertaking research within their own institution is rising. This article examines the ethical and moral dilemmas confronting such ‘insider’ researchers. Although all research has implications for those involved, in this paper we argue that undertaking interpretive insider research within your own institution or organisation makes these implications even more acute. By reviewing the literature in this area and drawing on the authors’ experiences of
undertaking two separate interpretive studies at institutions where they were members of staff, the article discusses key issues of gaining access, anonymity, researcher bias and power. Although undertaking insider research can be problematic, it is argued that researchers should be able to enter the setting with confidence, as long as the appropriate ethical boundaries are established at the outset and constantly re-visited throughout the process.

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