Res 351 Business Research Ethics Paper

The findings show that in the experts’ opinion Delphi is as rigorous, appropriate and useful as any other research method in the field of business ethics, such as focus group, interviews, surveys (online) and case analysis.

Although Delphi has come a long way in the development of the method itself, or even in business organisation, it has not been used at all in business ethics.

To fill this gap, we have reviewed the literature on the use of Delphi in business, and particularly in the field of business ethics; we have also evidenced the method’s lack of use in this field, but noted its potential contribution to this research stream.

We end with a pertinent overview of the properties of the Delphi method for its use in applied and fundamental business ethics based on fuzzy logic, with the aim being to establish its benefits and, in particular, refine the boundaries within which ethical business argumentation should take place.

The concluding remarks and references are presented.

The aim is therefore to contribute to knowledge in business ethics, both by accepting a new process to resolve, predict or evaluate ethical businesses aspects, and as a tool to improve ethical decision-making.

The paper is structured as follows: We first describe the literature on the use of the Delphi method not only in the business area, but also in business ethics, where the Delphi method can be classified into three groups, namely, Forecast, Decision and Policy.

An online survey has been administered to scholars in business ethics that have previously participated in a Delphi survey.

The scholars come from nine different countries, and the survey has been held between January 2015 and March-June 2016.

Moreover, applying the Delphi method in business ethics could enrich the consensus on limiting the fuzzy area in which ethical business decisions (ethical decision-making) are argued and determined.

It is a way of facilitating the search for a solution to the ethical dilemmas delimiting a problem, which is a further advantage of the Delphi technique.] developed the concept of moral intensity, in which one of the six components consists of the social consensus that “is defined as the degree of social agreement that a proposed act is evil (or good)” [], it is confirmed that despite its multiple benefits (predicting technological advances, achieving a better understanding of a subject, and reaching a level of agreement on topics without conclusive information) the Delphi method has not been widely used either to analyse or to identify areas of agreement on ethical business decisions.


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