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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

versão On-line ISSN 2222-3436
versão impressa ISSN 1015-8812

S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. vol.13 no.2 Pretoria Jan. 2010




Ethics in economic and management sciences: A researcher's resource



Jaco Pienaar

WorkWell: Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University




In an international research climate of increasingly demanding ethical review, based on a biomedical model, reflection on best practices in social, behavioural and economic science research is necessary. It is widely believed that these sciences cannot be held to the same practical requirements as those for biomedical research, although the principles of ethical research are surely universal. This article considers the ethical requirements, principles and guidelines directing research in the social, behavioural and economic sciences, recognised in the national and international arena. By means of a systematic review of available best practices, it is anticipated that general guidelines for social, behavioural and economic science research could be developed and offered to researchers in these fields. Specific consideration is given to the unique characteristics of social, behavioural and economic science research.

Keywords: Guidelines, social sciences, human sciences, behavioural sciences, economic sciences, ethics, ethical, social desirability, deception

JEL: M14



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Accepted December 2009



End notes

1 The ESRC (2005: 7) defines 'human participants' as 'including living human beings, human beings who have died recently (cadavers, human remains and body parts), embryos and foetuses, human tissue and bodily fluids, and human data and records (such as, but not restricted to medical, genetic, financial, personnel, criminal or administrative records and test results including scholastic achievements)'.

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