دشواری پیشروی کمیتههای اخلاق برای پژوهش در مورد ماهیت تحقیق در عملیات
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Omega, Volume 37, Issue 6, December 2009, Pages 1083–1088
کلید واژه ها
3. کمیتههای اخلاق در پژوهش (REC)
4. کمیتههای اخلاق در پژوهش و ماهیت OR
5. بحث و نتیجهگیری
This article is concerned with operational research (OR) practice in light of growing concerns about ethical conduct. It asks whether OR, in the context of increasing regulation through Research Ethics Committees, should consider whether there are certain ethical issues that are affected by the specific context of OR. The article sets out some of the central concerns about Research Ethics Committees and the nature of OR.
Recent decades have seen a number of debates and comments attempting to delineate the ethical dilemmas faced by operational researchers , , , ,  and . These dilemmas tend to be complex and only hazily definable. They reflect debates in other areas of management as to whether unethical behaviour or practice is more a function of “bad apples” or of “bad barrels” . The bad apple argument attributes unethical behaviour or practice to the personal characteristics of individuals. The bad barrel argument, in contrast, refers to organisational or societal issues influencing the behaviour of organisational members. While this article is essentially about ethics and OR, it has to be borne in mind that ethical issues connect with other contexts, for example, where ethical reviews occur, such as Research Ethics Committees (REC) (or institutional review boards) and research governance frameworks. There has been a rapid growth in such committees over the last few years in the UK  and , and the relevance of these to OR will be the main focus of this paper. The interest in REC is raised here because, like other occupational groups, OR is applied to problems that affect people, and there are not many areas in OR that can be considered to escape from ethical consideration . It also seems that the emergence of REC may be fruitful to focus on, specifically in terms of the fact that the ethical agenda is increasingly set by national and international institutions. To that end, this paper will address the nexus between the debates on ethics and OR and the discussions on REC, where it is suggested that ethical practice involve a complex interaction between individual and organisational factors. The paper will review whether OR, in the context of increasing regulation through REC, needs to consider whether there are certain ethical issues that are affected by the specific context of operational research. The article begins by contextualizing the discussion in relation to the recent debate on ethics in OR. Following this, some of the central concerns about REC and the nature of OR are set out.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The main point of this article is to suggest that the issue of ethics and OR will become of greater significance with the emergence and proliferation of RECs. These committees (drawing on a number of principles) seek to broaden the definition of ethics by making judgments on the integrity and quality of research involving people and organizations. This means that for OR there is a greater emphasis than before on ethical considerations and that there is a greater need to influence this agenda. In proposing to do OR, a RECs would suggest that a number of issues would need to be addressed. First, operational researchers have a responsibility to declare affiliations or potential conflicts of interest. This would enable other practitioners and society generally to take this into account when evaluating the interventions findings. Second, the power relations need to be considered and therefore the idea of informed consent needs to be interpreted flexibly. Third, judgment of the risk of treatment of the participants in the intervention and organizations must be balanced against the need for an intervention that challenges or undermines the interests of powerful elites. Fourth, an overly prescriptive requirement for the protection of confidentiality and anonymity in the write-up of an OR intervention could undermine the ability to conduct meaningful operational research. Fifth, operational research relies on a process of ongoing reflective practice involving researcher and participants working collaboratively to solve a problem. Therefore, it is not always possible to fully inform participants of the precise nature of the study in advance of the intervention. This last point brings us back to the reason for this article (in light of a RECs review of a current research proposal) in that the current climate is one where there is an increasingly strict ethical governance administration. This will increase the need for operational researchers to consider factors specific to their context and to develop ethical guidelines that take account of these while continuing to allow for diversity within the field. In dealing with these issues, it seems that there is a relationship between the actions of individuals and the ethicality of institutions (such as RECs), and most of the debates on ethics and OR, and the theories that have influenced these debates, are not so useful here. For example, being ethical requires being a person whose individual moral responsibility leads one to be morally assertive so as to mediate institutional or organisational priorities. Also, the individual is responsible for ethical behaviour and so institutions/organisations should avoid restricting individuality through rules and instead create an ‘empowering ethics’ that enable people to realise and meet their ethical responsibility (see ). Thus, ethics is not the property of the individual, despite the organisation, nor something that organisations control either formally or informally. Instead they are a complex and mutually constituting relation between the two. It is also important to remember Gallo's point in that we cannot talk of ethics without talking of freedom: the two go together . There is no room for ethics nor for ethical responsibility where there is no freedom of choice. It is the possibility of choosing between different alternatives which makes us subject to moral judgment. The fact that we can choose does not mean that the choice is always an easy one; in fact, often it is not. Sometimes it might appear that there is no choice. . Foucault's work is invaluable and relevant here, because of his concern for ethics which is principally about how people constitute themselves as moral subjects of their actions  while, at the same time, being ‘governed’ by institutions into being particular types of people  through the organisational attempts to govern ethics and their effects on individual ethical conduct. For Foucault, ethics is a “conscious practice of freedom : 284 through which people develop a notion of the “self” that can be considered ethical. Such practice is, however, not free in the sense that it is done in the absence of constraint, but rather in the sense that the ethical self emerges in relation to (or even against) those social and organisational rules and norms which seek to determine or dictate what a person should or should not be. On this basis it is to see ethics in the relation between individual morality and organisationally prescribed principles assumed to guide individual action. Thus, a complex interaction exists through which the individual researchers/practitioners must negotiate their own ethical conduct. The new challenge to OR is research ethics (or oversight) committees. We need to understand the way that ethics is constituted in these institutions. There is a need to be somewhere between understanding the relationships in terms of ethical norms and rules, and the way individuals adhere to them. Thus, future discussion on ethics and OR (and in relation to RECs) should seek to theorise ethics in terms of the meaning of being an operational researcher who is an active ethical subject. Such a person is so in relation to the organisational structures and norms that govern the conduct of ethics. Such an approach would locate ethics not in terms of ‘bad apples’ or ‘bad barrels’ but in the relationship between individual morals and organisationally prescribed principles assumed to guide personal action. In this way, ethics as a practice is seen to be between an individual's freedom to make choices about what to do and who to be, and the organisational context in which those choices are situated and governed.