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In qualitative research, participants should be confident
of their anonymity, that their personal details will never be passed on to anyone
beyond the extent of the researchers. The nature of our focus group session
will raise discussion around some very sensitive issues, confidential information
that we would not want to end up in the hands of our competitors. Therefore, we
will need to be very stringent in how information is handled during and after
the process. In using Bell & Bryman’s (2007) principles as a framework will
help to ensure that information remains confidential in addition to the anonymity
and welfare of the participants.

Complete research is a moral and
ethical venture and should be concerned with ensuring that the interests of
those participating in a study are not harmed because of research being done. It
is therefore imperative that all ethical considerations are surpassed, any miscalculation
or assumptive action may result in us being unable to utilise the research
findings and therefore render the exercise a complete waste of time, let alone
the potential repercussions on our organisation.

Another key principle concerning the researchers’
obligations to participants, Within the MRS code, MRS.Org (2017) for example,
participants need not only to give active consent (to be interviewed, observed etc.)
but to do this in full knowledge of who else is involved (researchers and
client observers, for example), what will happen to their contribution, and
what will happen to any record of it, especially audio and video tapes. Whilst
the session will be moderated by an external person, one of the primary
objectives in the research is for myself and a couple of colleagues to observe
the discussions that take place behind two-way glass. Again, this may raise
concerns from the participants given their anonymity may be compromised but
importantly our anonymity remains intact – it will be interesting to gauge
reaction to this request and where a negative response is issued, an
alternative approach may need to be considered.

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