The Ethics

Many of us get frequent calls from household-improvement companies trying to sell their products under the guise of market research. So profligate has the practice become that it has a name—sugging, or sales under the guise of research.

If you are new to conducting a survey, the basic rules are common sense:

♦ Don't try to influence your respondent's opinion.

♦ Don't build canvassing lists to target sell from.

♦ Don't gather information to which you have no right.

While it is illegal in most countries to use research as a cover for industrial espionage or for prying into individual lives, there is nothing to stop you from contacting people who have shown a strong interest in your product later. However, the sole reason for speaking to them in the first place ought to be to gather information.

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