Ethical Considerations of Health Care Marketing Research
Researchers in healthcare marketing utilize different data collection methods to obtain the needed information for their inquiry. However, these data collection methods pose various ethical issues that must be prevented from occurring during the collection of data. The assignment will entail a reflection of the ethical considerations related to a selected data collection method used in healthcare marketing research. The intention is to analyze the data collection method and recommend strategies for addressing the unethical behaviors that may occur when using this method in healthcare marketing research.
The chosen data collection method
The selected approach is a survey design that considers the collection of data from a chosen group of participants using standardized questionnaires (Suskie, 1996). The survey process entails selecting the target population to include in the research, pre-testing, determine the mode of delivery, and ensure validity as well as the analysis of findings. In healthcare marketing research, survey data collection method helps the researchers to identify the client expectations, measure their level of satisfaction as well as establishing particular areas of address and improvement in health care delivery. However, market researchers have various ethical concerns that they must consider when using the survey method of data collection as explained in the following section.
Ethical considerations when using the survey design for data collection method
When using survey data collection method, market researchers must consider respect for the participants. It is a critical aspect that ensures the respondents are free in providing their responses. It is necessary for the market researcher to respect the autonomy of the people, their decisions, and dignity.
The researcher should also consider the ethical principle of beneficence that requires the researcher to minimize any risk including social, physical and psychological that may be impacted on the participants during data collection. It is also crucial for the researcher to ensure the benefits to the respondents are maximized during data collection.
Justice is another ethical consideration that the market researcher must uphold when collecting data using the survey method. Based on the justice principle, the market researcher must select the participants from groups that will benefit from the research. In that case, the market research will choose patients and populations that will benefit from the healthcare research.
Respecting communities and their culture is a critical ethical aspect that market researchers in healthcare must consider when collecting data using the survey design method. In this case, respecting and protecting the entire community values and interests is mandatory as a way of ensuring that the population is safe from any harm during data collection process.
Strategies for addressing unethical behaviors
Unethical behaviors that may arise during data collection when using the survey method include ethical dilemmas, conflicts, abusive language, bribery, and conflict of interest (Ferrell Keig, 2013). Marketing researchers are advised to apply the moral principles of beneficence, non-maleficent, non-discrimination, justice and non-deception when dealing with ethical dilemmas that occur when collecting data using the survey method (Gegez & Sims, 2014). It is a strategy that enables the researcher to identify the cross-cultural differences among participants and avoid deception through unethical judgment towards the respondents. In this case, studying unethical activities or situations across the participants during data collection is critical.
Understanding stakeholders including the public, clients and other participants in the research are essential using the survey design during data collection (Ferrell & Keig, 2013). It requires the researcher to develop a therapeutic relationship with the participants as a way of achieving fairness and honesty during data collection as well as collecting accurate and reliable data from the population (Constantinescu, 2011). The use of critical thinking and excellent communication skills are strategies that will help the researcher to obtain a solution for the unethical behaviors of the participants.
To avoid ethical conflicts, the researcher needs to empathize with the participants’ situation during data collection. For instance, when handling different clients, it is crucial to maintaining a balance between the emerging conflicting values from the participants. For every relationship, the researcher should have a mutual ethical consideration for each of the respondents to avoid bias.
In conclusion, the discussion entails an analysis of the survey data collection method as used by market researchers in health care. It reveals that ethical considerations in this type of data collection method aim at protecting the interests of the participants and assuring them of their rights when participating in the research. Marketing researchers must consider the ethical principles of justice, beneficence, autonomy, and respect for participants. The various approaches that the market researcher may use to address unethical behaviors include the use of critical thinking, excellent communications skills, cultural sensitivity, empathy and understanding the stakeholders.
1. Constantinescu, M. (2011). The relationship between quality of life and marketing ethics. Romanian Journal of Marketing, 3(Jul-Sep), 37-44.
2. Ferrell, O., & Keig, D. (2013). The Marketing Ethics Course: Current State and Future Directions. Journal of Marketing Education, 35(2), 119–128.
3. Gegez, A., & Sims, R. (2014). Ethical Attitudes toward Marketing Research Practices: A Cross-Cultural Study. Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 6(1), 49-63.
4. Suskie, L. A. (1996.) Questionnaire survey research: What works. (2nd ed.). Tallahassee, FL: The Association for Institutional Research