Handling ethical issues within BMRI
The Business and Management Research Institute (BMRI) handles ethical issues in relation to the research (funded or otherwise) conducted by its academic staff members and students with the help of BMRI Ethics Committee. Research in the field of business and management is required to be conducted with due considerations to good research practice and ethics, including responsibility, integrity, accountability, honesty, conflict of interest, plagiarism, privacy and confidentiality.
Research conducted within BMRI should adhere to established principles of ethical practice of the University and respected professional organisations in the field of management. These are outlined in the following links. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
- University's Research Ethics Committee Ethical Procedures & Good Research Practice
- Academy of Management Code of Ethics
- The British Academy of Management's Code of Ethics and Best Practice [PDF]
Information for preparing the ethical approval application in BMRI
All research undertaken within BMRI by staff and students, whether primary (involving fieldwork with human beings) or secondary (involving work which draws on already published sources), requires ethical approval. Details of how to make an ethics application can be found at Research Ethics.
The following suggestions are provided to support preparation of the ethics application. These suggestions are just the basic information required in an ethics application but are not exhaustive. We recognize that ethics applications may need to cover more details depending on the nature of research.
- All ethics applications should provide a research summary (2-3 pages) that describes research aim and objectives and research methodology including research design, target groups, data collection processes and methods. If you are a PGR research student, you can provide a copy of PP1 report or a research summary.
- All ethics applications should have an information sheet for data collection participants describing the name of the researcher, supervisory team (for research by PGR students) or a senior researcher within BMRI (for research by staff members) and the nature of the project. This will help the respondents to contact the supervisors or senior researchers if they have any concern.
- If interviews will be conducted as part of the research, a consent form should be included, which should refer the information sheet and check with the respondents about any queries on the information sheet. It should specify that the participation by the respondents are voluntary. If audio or video recording is required, an explicit statement should be made for getting consent. If the researcher plans to use specific quotes from the interview, they should contact the respondent with those quotes and get their permission before using it in their reports. This should be explicitly specified in the consent form.
- For research that involve questionnaire survey, an indication of how the questionnaire will be structured should be included so that the elements linked to ethical information could be verified by the ethics scrutiny panel. This could include (i) the first page giving details about the survey and preservation of anonymity; (ii) brief description of the personal information to be collected.
- The ethics box included in the ethics application should be used to explain how the following issues will be addressed of the proposal involves human participants:
- clear explanation of whether data collection will be done in person or online,
- if in-person data collection is the only feasible option, a clear explanation of the reasons for this and risk assessment of the process,
- how informed consent will be obtained,
- how confidentiality and anonymity will be observed,
- how the nature of the research, its purpose and the means of dissemination of the outcomes will be communicated to participants,
- how personal data will be stored and secured (including audio or video files of interviews, focus groups, etc.),
- if participants are being placed under any form of stress (physical or mental) identify what steps are being taken to minimise risk.
Any queries can be sent to BMRI Secretary at BMRI@beds.ac.uk
During office hours
+44 (0)1234 400 400
Outside office hours
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89