Qualitative Research Methods

Book Report/Review
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Protection of confidentiality and privacy of data in organizational research is a critically important issue. The first and foremost justification of strict confidentiality and privacy of data is the assumption that study participants are likely to provide really credible and valid data only when they are sure the research properly protects disclosed information.


94). This consideration seems to be particularly relevant in case of Kamenou who dealt with a sensitive and potentially embarrassing data.
As far as organizations are concerned through which formal access is often sought by organizational researchers, there are several other considerations. On the one hand, time, resources and general inconvenience often associated with granting a researcher access to study participants can be a fair price for potentially important findings. For example, in some cases study findings may be used by organizations to design appropriate reforms or changes and eventually benefit from them. On the other hand, there is always a possibility of an ethical and legal conflict unless privacy and confidentiality of disclosed information is kept properly. A classic work of Sieber (1982) lists six main reasons for confidentiality and privacy of information obtained from participants:
3. Names, addresses and other personal data relating to study participants is often kept by researchers for relatively long periods of time, which increases the risk of intentional or unintentional sharing with a third party.
Organisations and participants are always ...
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