Businesses must act ethically when conducting their market research in a society concerned with moral decay on Wall Street. I will provide an example of a research project of mine that caused me to question ethical behavior. As part of a special assignment, I was asked to conduct a survey related to human capital issues for our organization. In the past, most employees ignored surveys because they knew management would never use the results. I explained this fact to my senior managers; they appeared to convey that they understood the situation.
I had pushed the survey with promotional materials. The survey was anonymous. People knew I was doing the survey. They trusted me. As survey information came in, management promised that they would share the results of the survey with the staff. The return rate for the survey was over 30%. When the results were completed, I presented the information to my senior managers. I mentioned that the organization promised to share feedback. Yet, the organization never provided this information. Employees shared candid concerns about the organization. My senior managers did not like addressing human resource issues. Therefore, they ignored sharing feedback. Morale tanked. Employees didn’t share any significant feedback on future surveys.