Work, ethics & occupational choice survey – Information Sheet.

Why is this research being conducted?  This survey is being conducted to determine if there are relationships between an individuals personal ethical position (whether they demonstrate ethical characteristics that align with the position of a subjectivist, a situationist, an absolutist or an exceptionalist), and the value they place on work choices (i.e their preference for a job, a career or a calling), and the extent to which they engage in vocational ideation or career planning. The study utilises a survey instrument developed by R.L Forsyth in 1980 to identify personal ethical positions, and a question from Wrezniewski et al. (1997) to determine work values.

Why am I being asked to take part?  Understanding one’s dominant personal ethical position or disposition is a crucial part of developing self-awareness which can impact on how students engage with the subject of business ethics.  In this research, an attempt is being made to test whether this position can influence other important areas of concern to students, such as occupational choice, and work ethics and values.

What will participation involve?  You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire which should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. No further studies are planned at present, but if you would like to indicate that you are willing to participate in future studies, it will be possible to provide an email address at the end of the study.

What will you ask me about? The first five questions will collect demographic information related to your current programme, your year of registration, age, gender and nationality.  Then you be asked to read three short pieces of text and identify which position you identify with most.  This is followed by three short questions about your current career or occupational planning activities.  Finally, you will be presented with 20 statements and asked to indicate your level of agreement with each of these.

What are the possible benefits of taking part in this research? This is an opportunity to participate in a research project and learn (from the inside) about how such studies are undertaken.  It also means that you will get a deeper appreciation for the research which informs portions of the business ethics modules in Maynooth University School of Business.

Do I have to take part?

Participation is entirely voluntary. You are under no obligation to take part.  If at any stage during the research you feel that you no longer wish to take part, that is completely fine and you are free to withdraw from the survey.

Is the study confidential? Yes.  The data will not be reported in a way that will make any individual or group visible or identifiable.

What will happen to the data?

All data collected will be treated in confidence and will be held anonymously and securely. Any potentially identifying details will be removed.  It is possible that some of the data from this research might be included in academic reports, articles or academic presentations.

As per Maynooth University’s Research Integrity policy ‘all primary data (anonymised where relevant and feasible) [will] be held for a minimum period of ten years following publication.’  This anonymised data will be stored on USB device in a locked cabinet to which only the researcher will have access.    The data will be encrypted and password protected. When this timeframe has elapsed the data on the USB will be overwritten.

It must be recognized that, in some circumstances, confidentiality of research data and records may be overridden by courts in the event of litigation or in the course of investigation by lawful authority. In such circumstances the University will take all reasonable steps within law to ensure that confidentiality is maintained to the greatest possible extent.


Who can I contact to find out more about this research or the project?

You can contact the researcher at


Callings in contemporary organisational life

My research aims to contribute deeper understandings about how the macro-level changes that impact individuals, organisations and society change how people experiences work and spirituality. Although often cited, Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, which analysed the relationship between spirituality, work and economic circumstances, has only received periodic conceptual updating since it was first published over 100 years ago. The aim of my work is to offer new conceptual approaches which accurately reflect how the relationship between work, organisations and spirituality is actually practiced in contemporary life. In doing so I hope that it will not be solely of theoretical interest to researchers, but also will have practical applications for managers, human resources departments and organisational employees at all levels.