The ethical implications of research in the field of business and related disciplines are being extensively discussed at present, as ethical implications of the research are considered an inherent part of good research practice. It is now widely accepted that researchers should present their research proposals to an ethics review committee and obtain their consent and approval before conducting research containing sensitive information. Having considered this, the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce has decided to form an ethics review committee for the Faculty, and this document outlines the procedure and process for forming an ERC-FMSC.
The purpose of the ERC-FMSC is to support researchers in conducting their research in an environment that ensures academic freedom and in maintaining ethical standards for quality enhancement in research within the University.
Following are the objectives of the ERC-FMSC.
- To develop, update, and monitor the ethics review policies and/or procedures of the Faculty.
- To review the research proposals for ethical compliance that are submitted by researchers within the streams of management studies and commerce.
Research undertaken in the business and related disciplines refers to the scientific study of business, managerial and other social phenomena in a broader business environment, carried out in a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields. The methodological approaches in the field of business and management include research approaches that encompass quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Ethical issues in conducting research in business and related disciplines are mainly related to the collecting of data from human participants, ensuring the confidentiality of collected data, and ensuring anonymity. Therefore, unanticipated risks at the start of research may emerge during the course of a study. Researchers in business and related disciplines are advised to take a more systematic approach to risk assessment. The risk-based assessment should clearly take into account not only individuals, but also organizational and societal risks.
Particular emphasis should be placed on issues of data protection and privacy, the process of obtaining informed consent, non-stigmatization, and non-discrimination. These aspects are highly relevant from an ethical standpoint because research in business and related disciplines is frequently conducted over long periods of time, both inside and outside institutional settings; it focuses on events with time constraints, public behavior, and contentious/stigmatized behavior. It is within this context and along these lines that applicants should consider their proposed methodology carefully and in detail. Given that research in business and related disciplines involves varying degrees of interaction/intrusion with/on research participants, an ethical review of such proposals would be facilitated if these aspects were appropriately considered.
Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Research
1. General Principles
Principles based on APA’s (American Psychological Association) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct were considered for this section (American Psychological Association, 2017).
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of principles, and principles outside of this framework would be considered wherever appropriate.
- Beneficence and Non-maleficence
Subjects of the research should be safeguarded and should not be harmed by any research activity. Furthermore, the research should be for the benefit of the majority of the population.
- Fidelity and Responsibility
The trust placed on the researcher/s by respondents should be respected. Researchers should show care and respect for all participants in and subjects of research, including humans, animals, the environment, and cultural objects. Those engaged in research must also show care and respect for the stewardship for future generations.
Researchers should ensure accuracy, honesty and truthfulness at all stages of the research, and must be honest about conflict of interest issues, whether real, potential or perceived, at the earliest opportunity and at every stage of the research; e.g. when applying for funding, when identifying collaborators and when reporting results.
Respondents should be selected fairly without discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion, age, language, status, gender, disability, region or geographical location, etc. This also implies that there is equitable distribution of both the burdens as well as benefits of population research.
- Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity
Rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination should be safeguarded.
- Beneficence and Non-maleficence
Researchers must comply with all applicable by-laws, regulations, laws and statutes relevant to the conduct of the research including, but not limited to Chapter Three of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978), Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003, Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016, Personal Data Protection Act No. 9 of 2022.
Prof. K.P.L. Chandralal
PhD (UNE) – Australia); M.Sc. in Management (SJP): B.Com. (Special) (SJP);
EPPG. Dip. in Marketing of Services. (MSM – Netherlands; SEDA (UK)
Professor – Department of Marketing Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura;
Chairperson- Faculty Research Committee-FMSC; Director- The Research Centre for Management Studies and Commerce.
Dr. Ms. Lishanthi Wijewardene
B.A. English (Special) (Kelaniya); M.A. (Colombo); PhD (MSU, Malaysia);
Dip. in TESL (Colombo); ATCL (London); CTHE (Colombo); SEDA (UK)
Senior Lecturer G1 – Business Communication Unit, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. W. M. Yaparathne
PhD (BPU); PGD in Counselling (Colombo); MPhil (USJ); BA (Hons) (Peradeniya)
Professor- Department of Philosophy and Psychology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura; Head – Department of Philosophy and Psychology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Dr. K.L.M.D. Seneviwickrama
MBBS, MSc, MD (Community Medicine)
Senior Lecturer (G II)- Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Snr. Prof. (Mrs) D.S.R Samarasinghe
PhD (SJP); M.Sc. Bus (Marketing) (SJP); PG. Dip. Marketing (PIM); EPPG. Dip. in Marketing of Services. (MSM – Netherlands); B.Sc. Bus. Admin. (Special) (SJP); EDip. in Marketing Sustainability (MSM – Netherlands)
Senior professor- Department of Marketing Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. A S P G Manawaduge
B.Sc. (Pub. Admn.) (SJP); M.A.(Acct. & Fin.)(Lancaster); A.C.A. (Chartered Accountant) PhD(Acc) (Wollongong)
Professor – Department of Accounting, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. (Mrs) N.C. Wickramaarachchi
PhD (University of Colombo, SL), B.Sc. (SJP), M.Sc. T & CP (Moratuwa), FITP (SL), AIV (SL), MRIS (UK)
Professor- Department of Estate Management and Valuation, University of Sri Jayewardenepura;
Life member – Sri Lanka Association for Advancement of Science;
Life Member – Geo-Informatics Society.
Prof. Hemamalie Gunatilake
PhD (University of Warwick, UK); MSc. in Management (SJP); BSc Public Administration (Special) (SJP); SEDA (UK)
Professor- Department of Business Administration, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. (Ms.) R. P. C. R. Rajapakse
PhD (Japan); MBA (Colombo); MBA (Wakayama); B.Sc. Bus. Admin. (Special) (SJP)
Professor- Department of Finance, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. M. V. S. S Udayanga
PhD; M.Sc. (Management)(SJP); B.Sc. Business Administration (Special) (SJP); FCBA, Chartered Institute of Business Administrators, Sri Lanka; MIM, Institute of Management, Sri Lanka.
Professor- Department of Entrepreneurship, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Ms. Dileepa M. Endagamage
MSc (App. Stat) (Colombo); BSc Maths. (Special) (SJP)
Senior Lecturer G-I, Department of Decision Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Prof. A. R. Ajward
PhD (Japan); MBA (Japan);
B.Sc. Accountancy Special (SJP); ACA (Chartered Accountant)
Professor- Department of Accounting, University of Sri Jayewardenepura; Co-Chair- Research Council of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. M. S. S. Perera
Ph.D. (UNE, Australia;
M.A. International Economics and Finance (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand);
MBA (PIM, SJP); B.Com. (Special) (SJP)
Professor- Department of Business Economics, University of Sri Jayewardenepura; Coordinator-MPhil (BEc)
Dr. R. P. C. K. Jayasinghe
Ph.D. (National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand); Pg.D IR; Pg.D DS; MPP; MAAT; B.Sc. Mgt(Public) (Special) (SJP); B.Sc. Mgt(Public) Special, Pg.D IR, Pg.D DS, MPP, MAAT.
Senior Lecturer (G1), Department of Public Administration, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Dr. W. Mahesh N. Fernando
PhD – (QUT, Australia); M Sc. in Computer Science (University of Kelaniya); MBA – PIM, (SJP); B.Sc. Physical Sciences (Honors) (SJP)
Senior Lecturer (G1)- Department of Information Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. G. D. N. Perera
Ph.D. in Management (Management & Science University, Malaysia); M.Sc in Management (SJP); B. Sc. Human Resource Management (Special) (SJP)
Professor- Department of Human Resource Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Dr. (Ms). K. M. V. Sachithra
PhD in Business/Management (MSU, Malaysia); MSc. in Management (SJP); B.Com. (Special) (SJP)
Senior Lecturer (G1), Department of Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.; Head- Department of Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Mr M.A. Nihal Chandrathilake
M.Phil LLM (UK); PG Dip, LLB (Colombo); Attorney-at-Law
Senior Lecturer (GII)- Legal Studies Unit, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Mr. P.R.A. Fernando
MBA in IT (UOM); BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Colombo); Residential Executive Education (Stanford University)
Managing Director, Forestpin (Pvt) Ltd.
Instructions to applicants
Please read this carefully to ensure that your application is properly filled out and that all required documents are properly prepared, as this will help to reduce delays in evaluating your application:
Badly planned and poorly designed research that causes participants inconvenience and potential risks is considered unethical. Before submitting an application for ethics review, the researcher must ensure that his or her research is of high scientific quality.
The ERCFMSC will not accept research proposals that are out of the scope of (a) social sciences and (b) business, management, and other related studies.
All the academic staff, students, administrative and support staff of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce (FMSC) of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura(USJ), visiting students, fellows, and external researchers outside the FMSC/USJ community who seek ethical clearance/approval from the ERCFMSC for their proposed research which should be within the scope of social sciences and business, management and other related disciplines can apply for ethical clearance.
The application should be submitted with the research proposal/ protocol, information sheet, consent forms, questionnaires, and interview guides as applicable. Sinhala/Tamil translation of all these documents, except the Application Form and the Research Proposal, should be submitted along with the original document in English (If the target population of the study is using English language only, you are required to submit only the English version; if the target population uses Sinhala language only, you are required to submit both Sinhala and English versions; if the target population uses Tamil language only, you are required to submit both Tamil and English versions; and in case of combinations of languages, you need to submit the applicable different versions. please note that if Tamil language is in the combination, it is necessary to submit an English version).
CHECK LIST (Please mark all documents submitted)
One copy of each of the following:
- Recommendation of the supervisor (if applicable)
- Covering letter signed by the applicant/s
- Bank receipt (if applicable)
Four copies of the following documents:
- Application form
- Research proposal
- Study instruments/Interview guides, information sheets and consent forms (English)
Applications should be submitted in the format stipulated by the ERC-FMSC with all necessary documents.
No fee would be charged from academics, non-academics, and students of USJ, and any other party will be charged a nominal processing fee of Rs. 5,000 /- for applications submitted for review by the ERC-FMSC. Applicant should credit the appropriate processing fee to the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce Development Fund (A/C No. 097100140002229) at People’s Bank, Gangodawila, Nugegoda.
All applications for ethics review must be submitted to the ERC-FMSC, 14 days prior to the monthly ERC-FMSC meeting.
Applications can be submitted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or to the ERC-FMSC office ( The Research Centre for Management Studies and Commerce) of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
These guidelines apply to all teaching staff, students, administrative and support staff of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce (FMSC) of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura(USJ), visiting students, fellows, and external researchers outside the FMSC/USJ community who seek ethical clearance/approval from the ERCFMSC for their proposed research which should be within the scope of social sciences and business, management, and other related studies.