The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence


The moral principles or rules of conduct for an activity or group. In the case of qualitative market research, such rules and principles are laid down in the codes of conduct produced by professional bodies of individual countries.

These codes generally provide protection for participants in research, acknowledging and acting as a counter to the researcher's and the client's power in the research situation. In the UK, these protections include ideas of informed consent, freedom from harm and anonymity. In practice, researchers are responsible for ensuring adherence to these codes and researchers can and do refuse contracts or client requests on ethical grounds.

In addition to those protecting respondents, there are guidelines for ethical business practice, concerning dealings between research suppliers and clients.

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This glossary is compiled and maintained by the Association for Qualitative Research, the foremost authority on qualitative practice, training and innovation, and the global hub of qualitative thinking. If you are a qualitative research consultant or a business offering qualitative research services, please consider joining the AQR and supporting the organisation.

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