Science Journal of Business Management
March 2012, Volume 2012, ISSN:2276-6316
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research Ethics: A Comparative Study of Qualitative Doctoral Dissertations Submitted to Universities in Thailand and the USA
1Jamnean Joungtrakul (LL.B., DBA.), 2Bobbe McGhie Allen, Ph.D.
1School of Global Business, Far East University, Korea
DBA Program, Rattana Bundit University (RBAC), Thailand.
2School of Global Business, Far East University, Korea
Accepted 27 February 2012; Available Online March, 2012
The objective of this study is to explore the current practices of an application of ethical protocol in qualitative research conducted by Ph.D. candidates in Thailand and the USA. To guide the study three questions were posed: (1) has the researcher explicitly identified ethical issues in the research? (2) Is literature related to ethics reviewed and presented? (3) What ethical protocol are identified and applied? To answer these questions the concept and theories of ethics, research ethics, research protocol, ethical protocol, and the application of ethical protocol in qualitative dissertations are reviewed. Ten qualitative dissertations each conducted by Ph.D. candidates from 2001-2010 in Thailand and the USA were selected for review and evaluation. Discussions, conclusions and recommendations were then made. The findings of this study reveal that the conduct of qualitative research in the USA is more advanced than those conducted in Thailand in terms of research ethics. At the same time major improvement is needed in the conduct of qualitative research in Thailand. This indicates that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the importance of ethics in conducting research especially in qualitative research. There is also a lack of knowledge and understanding of ethical issues, research ethics, research protocol, ethical protocol and how to apply them in qualitative research. To improve the current situation in Thailand the following recommendations are made: (1) all research training courses should include research ethics; (2) university research courses should be revised to include research ethics; (3) research ethics awareness programs should be developed and implemented to create awareness of all research stakeholder groups; (4) promotion programs should be developed and implemented to encourage all universities in Thailand to establish their own Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and practice IRB processes; (5) a piece of legislation on research on human beings should be enacted and enforced.
Keyword: Qualitative Research, Ethics, Research Ethics, Research Protocol, Ethical Protocol, Qualitative Dissertation, Institutional Review Boar