Ethics in the Marketing Research Process

Assignment Details and Grading Rubric
In this Assignment, you will engage in analyzing the marketing research process and ethical
concerns that marketing research managers must consider while conducting research. Write a 2-3
page APA style formatted critical essay, answer the following questions:
Question 1. Using the steps of the research process to structure your thinking, analyze the
following marketing research scenario based on your understanding of the Chapter 1 and Chapter
2 readings:
The FlyRight Airline Company was interested in altering the interior layout of its aircraft to suit the
tastes and needs of an increasing segment of its market businesspeople. Management was
planning to reduce the number of seats and install small tables to enable businesspeople to work
during long flights. Prior to the renovation, management decided to do some research to ensure
that these changes would suit the needs of the passengers. To keep expenses to a minimum, the
following strategy was employed:
Questionnaires were completed by passengers during flights. Due to the ease of administration
and collection, the questionnaires were distributed only on the short flights (those less than one
hour). The study was conducted during the second and third week of December, as that was when
flights were full. To increase the response rate, each flight attendant was responsible for a certain
number of questionnaires. Management thought this was a good time to acquire as much
information as possible; hence, the questionnaire included issues apart from the new seating
arrangement. As a result, the questionnaire took 20 minutes to complete.
Question 2. In marketing as in other aspects of business, it is critical that professionals make sure
to act in an ethical manner both legally and socially. In this age of interconnectedness, one
unethical move can become an Internet video or comment that spreads rapidly, not just locally but
potentially throughout the world. From a marketing standpoint, it is critical to take into account the
impact of an organization’s decisions on other people and the environment.
Consider the following situations. For each, discuss whether or not the action was morally ethical
under the three methods of ethical reasoning (i.e., utility, rights, and justice approaches).
a. The director of research for a financial institution, noting that the deadline for an important
research report was fast approaching, decided to cut the required sample size in half and
instructed her researchers not to mention the sample size on any of the slides that would be
prepared for presentation to decision makers. She justified her actions by explaining that the
research wasn’t all that important anyway and “certainly not worth the cost of potentially having to
fire workers if the report wasn’t issued in time.”
2 of 2
b. One of the researchers in the previous example also recognized that the project wasn’t going to
be completed by the deadline. Fearing for his job—and working on his own—he proceeded to
complete a number of surveys—106 in total—at home so that the project could move forward
much more quickly.
c. Knowing that many respondents want to “help” a researcher by supplying the answers that they
think the researcher wants to hear, a marketing researcher for a well-known department store
began sending surveys from the unknown “Taylor Research Group” instead of using the
company’s name on the cover letter. He noted that after making the change, the responses to
customer satisfaction questions became less positive.
Directions for Submitting this Assignment:
Review the grading Rubric below before beginning this Assignment. For additional help

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