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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Recruitment, risks, rewards and regrets: Senior researcher reflections on working with alcohol industry social aspects organisations
Author(s): Mitchell, Gemma
McCambridge, Jim
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Keywords: alcohol industry
corporate social responsibility
vested interests
Issue Date: Jan-2022
Date Deposited: 5-Mar-2024
Citation: Mitchell G & McCambridge J (2022) Recruitment, risks, rewards and regrets: Senior researcher reflections on working with alcohol industry social aspects organisations. <i>Drug and Alcohol Review</i>, 41 (1), pp. 27-35.
Abstract: Introduction A growing body of literature suggests alcohol industry corporate social responsibility activity, including the creation of ‘social aspects’ organisations (SAO), may harm rather than improve public health. We aimed to explore established researcher experiences of working with SAOs, and the factors informing their decisions to do so. Methods Qualitative interview study with senior alcohol researchers who had previous or ongoing connections to SAOs or their predecessors initiated when their careers were established (n = 16). Thematic analysis using NVivo software. Results Established researchers were recruited for their expertise by alcohol industry SAOs via employees who were previously academics or via academic colleagues with SAO connections. Motivated by the desire to improve public health and ‘reach out’ beyond academia, researchers were confident that they could maintain their independence when sharing their expertise with SAOs. Short-term connections included attendance at SAO-funded events and book chapter contributions. Sometimes, these led to long-term relationships with SAOs, or researchers were invited to long-term roles by a colleague. These included memberships of scientific advisory committees, board positions, or work as independent consultants. Most researchers reflected negatively on their experiences and had ended their associations, while some had positive experiences. Discussion and Conclusion Current and former researchers play key roles in initiating connections with SAOs, with industry-funded events and invitations to long-term roles by trusted colleagues, mechanisms used to facilitate the development of such relationships. Our study adds to existing evidence that SAO scientific activity does not contribute to public health goals, but does present industry with public relations opportunities.
DOI Link: 10.1111/dar.13342
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Drug and Alcohol Review published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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