An ethical teaching
resource for tourism and
social science students
Dr Carl Cater
The problem with universities
Social science often left behind in ethical
However doesn’t fit in a shoehorned
regulatory approach either!
ESRC Framework for Research
Ethics (FRE) 2010.
1. Research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken to ensure integrity,
quality and transparency.
2. Research staff and participants must normally be informed fully about the
purpose, methods and intended possible uses of the research, what their
participation in the research entails and what risks, if any, are involved.
3. The confidentiality of information supplied by research participants and the
anonymity of respondents must be respected.
4. Research participants must take part voluntarily, free from any coercion.
5. Harm to research participants must be avoided in all instances.
6. The independence of research must be clear, and any conflicts of interest or
partiality must be explicit.
broader remit of creating responsible
In Wales for example, HEFCW requires
HEIs to identify and enhance areas for
Education for Sustainable Development
and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) in its
graduates (WAG, 2006).
Gwella project goals of “to improve, to get
better, to heal, and to enhance”
skills set that is in line with the University’s
learning and teaching objective 4.4, that
seeks to ‘promote global sustainability and
citizenship’ attributes in its graduates.
Undergraduate interpretation of
ethics- a baseline
46 undergraduate mixed science/social
Student question: What does
ethics mean to you?
Morals, fair, consideration, right and
wrong, good and bad, judgement, equality,
inclusiveness, reasoning, welfare, safe,
respect, informed, reciprocity
Based on upbringing/ “built in”/ accepted
Not distress or impair
“depending on the content to which it is in
ethics can mean a variety of things such
as in animal welfare situations for example
or even human rights”
“Ethics, as I understand it is the
meandering of social nicetys and moral
obligations instilled by ones parents,
religion and culture to find something fair
in an ever changing state”
“Ethics are the self-appointed mode of
salvation for the masses, a term applied to
mans actions as a polite pseudonym to
replace the word ‘sin’. Ethics have
conveniently become subject to personal
discernment, thus proving that there is no
unethical deed, allowing the masses to
indulge in all sin and immorality”
Student question: Can you think of an
ethical decision you have made?
Consumer decisions (local, materials, carbon, fairtrade)
Personal development?-Going to uni to get a better job?
Collective- societies/ working with others
‘Not be racist’
Student question: Difference between
everyday ethics and research ethics
Experimental nature- more thought out
Less about choice?
Everyday ‘automatically applied’
“No- they are only different because they
Student Project ethics
Animal issues quite well defined
Legal and regulatory issues
Implemetation and siting
Taking up time
The program must complement the general
developmental stage of the students.
The timing of the program is important.
The length of the program is important.
Finally, the teaching methods selected are critical
to a student’s development- the most effective
courses are those that are based on “dilemma
discussions on controversial moral problems”,
during which the teacher acts as a facilitator.
Student interaction is essential to the success of a
program (Clarkeburn, 2002).
‘Rules’ or judgements?
“teaching ethics should perhaps be modelled
on teaching someone how to play a musical
instrument, where the student is initiated into a
particular way of feeling and responding,
mastering the local techniques, and eventually
being able to improvise within settled practices
when appropriate. In such learning, the
considered judgements of experienced
persons carry more weight than theoretical
arguments”. Winston (2000, p. 158)
According to Winston (2000), the use of
narrative cases can assist students to
develop skills in perception, decision
making, logical argument and analysis.
Creating a tool at Aberystwyth:
Introduce a framework for ethical thinking
Outline the principles of ethical conduct in human
Identify areas of ethical consideration in the design and
conduct of your research
Identify areas of responsible practice consideration in the
design and conduct of your research
Provide an overview of Aberystwyth University policies
Elements of the platform will include;
A literature review on best practices in teaching ethics to students.
A PowerPoint slideshow addressing ethics, ethics in research and responsible
practice in research. This includes the background of ethics, the role of culture and
values in ethics, various ethical and responsible practice issues, strategies for dealing
with the various ethical and responsible practice issues, and the university ethics
A matrix framework for constructing context-based scenarios. Included in this are a
bank of relevant references and case studies for the associated research
method/ethics and responsible practice issues. The matrix framework facilitates the
development of context-based materials in other discipline areas. Thus a modified
form of the platform may be used in a range of research methods courses being
delivered across the university, or indeed embedded in a number of courses dealing
with discipline specific ethical issues.
A suite of test questions for examining ethics and responsible practice.
Development of an online platform for delivery of these elements to students.
Matrix for focussing ethical issues, research
methods, research project, and ethics problems
Research method Hypothetical research Ethics issues: Ethical discussion points
Rec Consent: Risks/benefits: Confidentiality/Privacy: Conflict of Interest: Perceived Authorship: Recognising the
Should we be asking the ruitment: The selection of an appropriate Appropriately addressing risks Whether anonymity is an conflicts of interest – who contribution of all authors.
question? Ethics of Rec consent mechanism ethical requirement for decides.
Research Question and Use ognising that recruitment research
Implications strategies can expose potential
participants to risks.
Focus groups Motivations of adolescents to attend a music Whether offering incentives to potential Whether adolescents can consent in their own Travel risks in travelling to and form the focus Focus group members disclosing people’s More vocal focus group members may push Engaging in “member checking” of focus
(Bloor et al., 2001; T. L. Greenbaum, 1998; T. festival participants is appropriate right. group/Future festivals being more tailored to identity after the focus group. their agenda and inhibit other participants if group interpretation
L. Greenbaum, 2000; Stewart et al., 2007) (Bloor et al., 2001, p. 53; Grant & Sugarman, (Zelaznik, 1993) – coercion adolescents. (Bloor et al., 2001) Or disclosing what they focus group moderator is not well skilled (Bloor et al., 2001, p. 71).
How do you account for or report underage
2004). (Kroll, 1993) (Griffith University Office of Finance and have heard (Bloor et al., 2001, p. 49; T. L. Greenbaum,
drinking/ recreational drug taking?
(Black & Ponirakis, 2000) – in extreme cases. Business Services, 2006) 2000, p. 184).
(National Health and Medical Reseach Council,
2001; Sieber, 1992)
Questionnaires Evaluation of cultural event using an exit- Ensuring participants have language and Ensuring second, third, … language users Researcher being abused for impeding exit Other event participants observing Questionnaire field personnel may be Recognising the roles of research
(Sarantakos, 1994) questionnaire literacy levels to participate. understand language of the consent form. process from event/ Accessing immediate questionnaire process which makes overt focussed on a quota of responses to be assistants.
(Griffith University Human Research Ethics (Davis et al., 1998) – standard versus simplified feedback from event participants. people’s participation. achieved and may manufacture responses (Griffith University Intellectual Property
Committee, 2006; Jennings, 2001, p. 107) consent forms. (Raich et al., 2001) (Jennings, 2001, p. 106) to hit quota. Separating and reconciling Policy, 2005; Jennings, 2001, p. 330)
roles: the part time researcher.
Interviews Tourism operators’ satisfaction of destination Timing, duration, setting and nature of Oral consent is complemented with written Possible exclusion from destination marketing Non-disclosure or disguising identity of Emic and etic roles may influence Ensuring the “voices” of participants are
(Gubrium & Holstein, 2002, 2003; Holstein & marketing organisation services questions used. consent organisation services/ Improvement in researchers as DMO staff. interpretation if roles are not clearly adequately captured and reflected
Gubrium, 2003; Jennings, 2005; Minichiello et (de Vaus, 1995) (Rubin & Rubin, 1995) – section on consent destination marketing organisation services (Minichiello et al., 1995) – on non- identified. especially if using qualitative research
Local political relationships and historical
al., 1995; Rubin & Rubin, 1995; Sarantakos, (Sieber, 1992) (Stake, 1995) disclosure in general (Grbich, 2004) – briefly. methodology
context may influence outcomes
1994) (Rubin & Rubin, 1995) – versus the need
Ethnography Study of independent travellers travel Ensuring that “gatekeepers” or sanctioning Deception and consent – consideration of overt Impacting on travel experience/Achieivng rich Ensuring ethnographic information carries Gatekeepers may influence information Acknowledging contributions from beyond
(Cole, 2005; Fetterman, 1989; Taylor, 2002) experiences within a specific nation bodies have agreed to the research as well as versus covert observer roles empirical material to interpret the travel no identifying information. gathering by restricting access to all the research team.
the participant groups (Bok, 1996; Fetterman, 1989; Flick, 2006; Patton, experiences of independent travellers. (Banks, 2001; Ermine et al., 2004; aspects of independent travellers
(Banks, 2001; Fetterman, 1989; Sieber, 1992). 1990; Sieber, 1992). Fetterman, 1989; Pink, 2001; Sieber, 1992) experiences
(Jennings, 2005; Sieber, 1992)
Delphic method Identification of future safety and security Ensuring anonymity of participants throughout Consideration of making explicit or not the Some participants presenting a biased Ensuring other participants may not access Ensuring other participants may not access Acknowledging the contribution of
(Garrod & Fyall, 2005; Hasson et al., 2000; issues for transportation sector the Delphic iterations. sponsor(s) of research (Veal, 2006) – not viewpoint/Iterative and anonymous process of primary information primary information participants with one to one thank yous and
Stewart et al., 2007) specifically in relation to Delphic Delphic method negates a “powerful” person a generic thank you in research report
How findings might be used by media/
pushing one agenda. writing to protect participant identity.
policymakers for self-interest.
Documentary/Archival method Analysis of compliance of marine tourism Protecting harm to constituency membership Reflecting on consent of people no longer able to Incomplete data or empirical materials being Researcher access to confidential data of Researcher access to confidential data of Ensuring that quoted work is adequately
(Neuman, 2000) providers safety manuals with national who may not have agreed to participate when provide consent. available/ Possible access to commercial-in- names and contact details. names and contact details. referenced and authorship attributed
standards those in power have agreed to access to confidence documents. (National Health and Medical Research (National Health and Medical Research correctly.
materials. Council, 2001) Council, 2001)
Experimental and quasi-experimental method Testing of hotel room redesigns or new menus Ensuring any possible negative soliloquy has Masking of research aims to counter for bias Causing psychological/physical Requirement to destroy all data after a Requirement to destroy all data after a Clearly identifying others research
(Jackson, 2003; Sarantakos, 1994) in restaurants complementary support mechanisms in place associated with socio-demographic influences on stress/Achieving results close to real life period of 5/7 years. period of 5/7 years. processes used in experiments and quasi-
such as counselling or medical support participant decision-making experiences (Griffith University Human Research Ethics (Sieber, 1992) experiments.
Could this impact on local traditional design or
(National Health and Medical Research Committee, 2006; Sieber, 1992) (Griffith University Academic Registrar,
lead to monoculture in dining?
Council, 2001; Sieber, 1992) 2001)
Longitudinal studies Analysis of repeat visitor satisfaction with Making explicit procedures for tracking Seeing consent as an ongoing process Staff changes//Long term view of department t Safety and security of personnel information Stakeholders may change over time and Ensuring that when researcher and
(Ritchie, 2005) front desk interactions at a specific hotel chain participants’ contact details during study (Sieber, 1992; Silverman, 2000). maintained over time. this may develop into a conflict of interest. participant changes occur that their
periods if same cohort group is to be (Sieber, 1992; Veal, 2006) (Ritchie, 2005) contributions are suitably recognised with
maintained throughout the study the limits of any anonymity agreements.
Might this encourage disneyfication of the
Case studies Study of success factors of small to medium Cross-cultural studies utilise culturally Participant and project appropriate consent Changing circumstances of business may Care in protecting case study participants Cultural sensitivity may preclude some Ensuring intellectual property rights are
(Beeton, 2005; Morgan, 1997; Stake, 1995; indigenous tourism enterprises appropriate ways of behaving, interacting and mechanisms. mean non-success/Research may have to and enterprises by use of pseudonyms and aspects form research processes constantly negotiated in the process of the
Travers, 2001; Yin, 1994) recruiting participants (Castellano, 2004; Ermine et al., 2004) broaden to determine the antecedents of non-identifying writing styles. (Sieber, 1992; (Sieber, 1992; Stake, 1995). research.
Can we really examine these through the
(Castellano, 2004; Ermine et al., 2004; Flick, successful and non-successful businesses Veal, 2006) (Marshall & Batten, 2004; Sieber, 1992)
hegemony of business discourse?
2006; Liberman, 1999)