Human research ethics – is construction management research concerned?

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Construction Management Research (CMR) depends upon human beings participating in research, the quality of treatment of participants having direct effect on the quality of their participation, in turn that of the research itself, making treatment of humans and the ethical dilemmas that can ensue an important area of competence for CM (Construction Management) researchers. Does the growing field of CMR demonstrate appropriate concern for human research ethics? Evidence of typical CMR research is taken from the online Cooperative Network for Building Researchers (CNBR), particularly a search for “informed consent” collateral. It was found that there was little concern with human research ethics, which we argue is also evident in the lack of research on this matter in CMR-related literature, or any reference to these matters in the relevant professional and institutional bodies. Reasons as to why this might be are proposed. The consequences of the apparent level of concern are that participants can be exposed to “wrongs”, despite pressures for compliance from institutional ethics boards. However, the discipline of critically evaluating human research approach through a framework of ethical considerations is not only morally correct, at least according to the morality that is concerned for consequences to participants, but is also objectively useful to researchers, improving the reliability and validity of their research and lowering barriers to participation.

Keywords: construction management research, ethics, ethics approval, informed consent

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalConstruction management and economics
Early online date24 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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