Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory J. Howard

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. David Hartmann

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A review of the literature suggests there is still reason for concern due to the nature of deviant research in the past and the continued existence of ambiguous guidelines in particular organizational contexts. Federal ad hoc commissions have been a prominent environment where the absorption of the social reaction to deviant events and discussions regarding bioethics has transpired. The goal then was to ask what conditions of commissions lead to the presence of a research deviant? A convenience sample of nine U.S. federal ad hoc commissions was performed utilizing a method known as crisp-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (csQCA). The results showed that the presence of an NGO being mobilized through the media, a commission initiated by Congress, the detection of a collective offender, and the presence of a victim being labeled were found to be a consistent combination for the production of a labeled research deviant by federal ad hoc commissions on human subject research. W^hile results are not generalizable beyond the sample, the results contribute to a number of concerns. First, the public may deserve more of a role when scholars consider commission dynamics. Second, csQCA was utilized in a small n design, and was able to corroborate variables informed by labeling theory. Finally, problems with the use of commissions for deviant labeling are discussed.