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Is this ethical?

I haven't been at my job very long - plus I'm a newbie in this field. My company had outsourced research to a major university and hired me to bring it in-house (the job ad said, "great opportunity for a recent grad"). To be honest, I'm concerned about the type of research they are asking me to do:

1) The university conducted research by contacting companies, stressing that they are from an academic institution, and that they are trying to help companies understand the respondent’s market. The university than sold my company a report which included the respondent's answers AND contact information.

I've been asked to duplicate this process - complete with contact information. I don't feel right about this. Thoughts?

2) When conducting e-mail surveys I've been told to include a question that asks, "would you like to be contacted for more information?"

If I do this, is that ethical? What if I separate the respondent's answers from the respondent's contact info? Basically, is it okay to do if I only supply a list of contacts and make the survey responses a separate part of the report?

Hope that all makes sense. Thanks.


Check this link to CASRO...


I've read the standards - I guess I need help in interpreting them.


Also, should I be reporting the university? If so, to who?

I know of another "consulting company" that's doing the same thing.


What is the point of the research project? What are you trying to learn?

CASRO states that survey research is NOT a lead generation tool and any follow up with respondents has to be either to validate the interview took place or ask additional RESEARCH oriented questions. But for any follow up to happen you have to expressly ask for and recieve permission; and you have to tell the respondent why you would want to talk with them again.

Also, are you including the appropriate opt out criteria in you survey invitations?