Publication Details

This article was originally published as Irvine, HJ, Trust me! A personal account of confidentiality issues in an organisational research project, Accounting Forum, 27(2), June 2003, 111-131. Original journal here.


Organisations, particularly those that depend on donations from the public, care a great deal about the image they present to society. This makes them especially sensitive about confidentiality when it comes to details of their accounting systems and financial affairs. Organisational, technical and personal factors determine the strategies adopted for encouraging trust and respecting confidentiality while undertaking research in such organisations. This is a personal account of some of the confidentiality issues that arose during a qualitative research project within a large religious/charitable organisation. It illustrates the importance and challenges of maintaining confidentiality in that and other contexts.



Link to publisher version (DOI)