Personal and Professional Ethics

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 882
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


Research articles must always meet the required scientific research standards to become reliable for further reference. The paper must be methodologically pragmatic, have a clear articulation, and must have an organized structure that contains the major points based on the topic of an investigation. Moreover, scientific research articles must have sufficient background about a topic, must show how it relates appropriately to its audience, and must have a logical flow that illustrates the main arguments. The intention of this essay is to examine a research journal article to examine whether it meets the methodological standards needed in a research article.

Summary: Main Points Discussed in the Article

Research Background or Introduction

The paper discusses the professional ethics of practice and the manner in which workers in social work perceive these ethics (Osmo & Landau, 2006). The research specifically intended to examine how social workers perceive different ethical principles articulated in different ethics theories in their daily social work practices. The researchers, Osmo and Landau (2006), sought to examine the relationship between the prevailing ethical theories, the existing ethical dilemmas, and the increase in ethical issues, the idea of ethical decision-making, and the existing problems in the perceived ethical principles.

In the introduction, the article concentrates on elaborating about the manner in which the professional values of the social workers are associated with societal values. The authors, Osmo and Landau (2006), further emphasizes unraveling the prevailing confusion between the professional values of the social workers and most importantly how the social workers perceive their personal philosophies with the hierarchies of personal and professional ethics. The background also provides rich information about the influence of the deontological theories and the technological theories on the decision-making behaviors of social workers.

To expound on the existing ethical dilemmas, the researchers, Osmo and Landau (2006), argue that social workers still lack knowledge on how to choose their ethical decisions, or even justify their prioritized decisions about ethical dilemmas and what actions make-up a sufficient ethical framework. In the background, Osmo and Landau (2006) argued that social workers have varied perceptions concerning the utilitarian theory, the deontological theory, the rights theory, the virtue theory, and the ethics of care theory. The researchers noted that different social workers have different preferences concerning the five ethical principles.

The Research Methodology

In this section, the researchers presented a methodological section that comprised an explanation of the research procedure, the data collection instruments, sample selection, and the analysis approach used in the study. The researchers explained the research procedure by revealing its sample population that comprised 62 Israeli social workers as the research respondents. The researchers, Osmo and Landau (2006) presented information on how they a rich-content questionnaire made up of 12 ethical principles following the NASW Code of Ethics of 1996 and the IASW Code of Ethics of 1994.

The above code of ethics formed a pillar for the social worker’s codes of ethics. In the methodology section, Osmo and Landau (2006) discussed how they used a structured questionnaire of 12 ethical principles as their main data instrument. In the questionnaire, some social case scenarios appeared as constructs to analyze the arguments of the social workers pertaining to ethical principles and the manner they should apply in practice from both an individual and a professional perspective. With a response rate of 50% that represented 62 respondents, Osmo and Landau (2006) described how they used content analysis to analyze data.

Research Results, Discussion, and Implications

In their results, Osmo and Landau (2006) noted that when the social workers ranked the use of ethical theories in four different contexts of social construct, their opinions and perceptions varied significantly between the five aforementioned ethical theories. In their discussion, Osmo and Landau (2006) discovered that social workers use deontological theories such as the theory of universalism, the right intention theory, and the duty theory of ethics to justify their preferences towards certain ethical principles. Concerning the implications, whereas the study suggested that ethical theories help in understanding ethical dilemmas, a small sample of 62 could not prove this ideology.

Why the article cannot be a Reliable or a Valid Source

The research may not be a reliable or valid source of information. The first problem with the research is that the background provides different forms of literature arguments that later do not match with the desired result discussions. The second issue is that the methodology is straightforward, but the constructs and components of the questionnaire seem to confuse the readers and divert them from the research aim. The results provided by the research are not in line with the supposed aim established at the beginning of the research. This approach means that the research was manipulative and full of careless triangulation of data.


A published research article, whether from a valid publisher or just from an unknown source, can be very unreliable and invalid for referencing. An article is only valid and reliable when; apart from following the legitimate publication protocols, it ensures that the written content is methodologically correct, and with relevant information that is sufficient to authenticate from the research background to the end.

In their article, Osmo and Landau (2006) presented an article with a mixed-up concept, an illogic flow of content, and with an unclear aim that misdirected the research.


Osmo, J., & Landau, R. (2006). The Role of Ethical Theories in Decision Making by Social Workers. Social Work Education, 25(8), 863–876.