Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Vol 12, No 1 (2015)

Communication research ethics and some paradoxes in qualitative inquiry

Srikant Sarangi
Issued Date: 20 May 2019


Compliance with institutional protocols on research ethics in the practical conduct of research and its dissemination is a prerequisite in empirically grounded studies, including studies undertaken in workplace and institutional/professional settings. However, the communicative dimensions of research ethics remain largely unexplored. Drawing on seminal empirical studies in the social sciences, in this paper I delineate the communicative dimensions of research ethics in terms of ethics of access, ethics of participation, ethics of interpretation and ethics of dissemination/intervention. In the main part of this article I elaborate each of the above dimensions in detail. I relate the ensuing discussion to the three paradoxes underpinning any qualitative inquiry: the observer's paradox, the participant's paradox and the analyst's paradox. Paradoxes, by default, are not resolvable but it remains an imperative for qualitative researchers, including those working in the domain of workplace communication, to be cognizant of the ethical nuances underpinning their research trajectories.

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DOI: 10.1558/jalpp.36885


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