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Ethical implications of network data in business and management settings

Ethical implications of network data in business and management settings

Cronin, Bruce ORCID: 0000-0002-3776-8924, Perra, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0002-5559-3064, Correa Da Rocha, Luis ORCID: 0000-0001-9046-8739, Zhu, Zhen ORCID: 0000-0003-0258-1454, Pallotti, Francesca, Gorgoni, Sara, Conaldi, Guido ORCID: 0000-0003-3552-7307 and De Vita, Riccardo (2020) Ethical implications of network data in business and management settings. Social Networks. ISSN 0378-8733 (In Press) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2020.09.001)

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Abstract

Reflecting on the compilation and analysis of a range of network datasets drawn from our own work and some prominent examples, we consider the ethical challenges in dealing with network data in business and management settings. We argue that the managerial processes that characterize such settings introduce particular ethical sensitivities in the stages of commissioning and research design, and when collecting, analyzing and reporting network data. These sensitivities arise from the imperatives of business, motivations for commissioning network analyses and the legal authority that managers have over employees. We argue that ethical considerations are much more pervasive in business and management network research than in many other fields.

In this contribution, we present a range of ethical challenges in network research in business and management settings that arise at several stages of the research process. For each issue identified, we describe the ethical problem and propose mitigation remedies. From this reflection, we suggest guidelines for other researchers to consider when designing research projects in this application area.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social network analysis, organisational networks, business networks, network science, big data, ethics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC)
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2020 15:50
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 5
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/29591

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