May 04, 2006
Pittance as Penalty for Plagiarism!
Story from BBC NEWS:
"The head of one of America's largest defence firms has lost out on his annual pay rise following accusations of plagiarism....Raytheon's board has cancelled William Swanson's 2006 increase after a management guide he wrote was found to include parts of an earlier book...His pamphlet "Unwritten Rules of Management" was discovered to include passages from a 1944 publication... The decision to withhold Mr Swanson's annual pay rise and reduce his potential 2006 stock options by 20% was made by the Raytheon board".
"In 2005, Mr Swanson received a basic salary of $1.1m (£597,000) plus a $2.6m bonus.
He also received 75,000 restricted Raytheon shares, worth $3.37m at the current stock price".
"Raytheon, the world's fifth largest defence company, is best known for making the Tomahawk cruise missile".
That is a pittance in remuneration for the misdeed committed, and by whom! The CEO of the fifth largest defence company, a role model to many, and surely one with a daunting resume brimming over with degrees from prestigious institutes of learning, what would have made him resort to these cheap tactics? Swanson could just as well have hired someone to do it! Did he really believe he wouldn't be caught, or was it plain and simple oversight and therefore unintentional? Were his writing skills in doubt that he had to prove himself, or was he an aspiring writer and this his covert maiden venture? Was the 'management guide' up for sale, and the profits from it worth a fortune? Being who he is, what made Swanson do what he did?
Furthermore how does Swanson get off the hook so easily? How come there isn't much furore over this copying? Is plagiarism less of a crime in corporate america than it is in academia? Is Vishwananthan, a 19 year old student at Harvard, expected to be more cognizant about plagiarism than the CEO of a multinational company who draws a few millions as annual earning? Will Swanson, the CEO of Raytheon, lose as much personl credibility due to this misdemeanour as did Kaavya, the 19 year old student at Harvard? Will both these violations be weighed in the same pan of justice, or do different rules apply?
If different rules apply, then why?