This paper is a critical reflection on the interplay between four elements of a particular practitioner inquiry and the impact of this interplay on the research process from a research ethics point of view. The four elements are: (1) particularities of the research context/relations; (2) the analytical framework; (3) guiding principles; and (4) epistemological and ontological assumptions. The interplay between these elements became an important (and usefully uncomfortable) focus of researcher reflexivity as the project progressed. Referring to two 'ethically important moments' in the project, the paper explores the tensions between the four elements and the implications of these tensions in terms of the ways in which ethical issues that emerged in the project were conceptualised and addressed by the researcher. In exploring these tensions and implications, the role of researcher reflexivity, the limitations of procedural approaches to ethics and the conceptualisation of research as praxis are considered.