What are the ethics of “They don’t know I’m the CEO”?

Via Experientia’s Putting People First, this post about Target’s CEO doing in-home observations and interviews with consumers.

But then this:

“No one knows I am the CEO of Target when I do that,” Cornell said during a question-and-answer session with reporters. “They don’t even know we’re from Target. We will interview them. I have sat with Hispanic moms with 5-year-old little girls, talking about their needs as they think about their baby, where they shop, what they shop for.”

Ethics klaxon! I can see how declaring your background and position could colour an in-home visit but I hope that participants are told after the fact what’s happened. That sort of disclosure would be required for university research ethics at my institution.

Published by bjkraal

I'm an Experience Designer from Brisbane, Australia. I use design to make better ways for people to work and play.

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