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Ethical implications of network data in business and management settings

Cronin, B., Perra, N., Da Rocha, L.C., Zhu, Z., Pallotti, F., Gorgoni, S., Conaldi, G., De Vita, R. (2020) Ethical implications of network data in business and management settings. Social Networks, . ISSN 0378-8733. (doi:10.1016/j.socnet.2020.09.001) (KAR id:87411)


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. © 2020

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.socnet.2020.09.001
Uncontrolled keywords: Research ethics; Business networks; Business and management; Organisational networks; Social network analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Depositing User: Zhen Zhu
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2021 11:17 UTC
Last Modified: 23 May 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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