Communication Scholars' Communication and Relationship with their IRBs
Using grounded theory, 57 narratives of communication scholars detailing their experiences and relationships with institutional review boards (IRBs) were examined. From this analysis, 24 concepts emerged constituting five larger categories characterizing the communication relationship between communication scholars and IRBs: antagonistic actions of IRBs, negative perceptions of IRBs, actions of researchers, positive perceptions of IRBs, and protagonistic actions of IRBs. Results indicate that the main difference between positive and negative experiences with IRBs was associated with the nature of the relationship between scholars and IRBs. Scholars who saw their IRBs as adversarial bureaucracies had the most negative experiences, whereas scholars who saw their IRBs as partners in the research process had the most positive experiences. Recommendations for how both IRBs and researchers can improve their relationships conclude this essay.