Tags: ethics, Raytheon, plagiarism
The New York Times reports that Raytheon CEO, Little Billy Swanson, "accidentally" stole other people's material for his book, "Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management."
Most of the book was lifted from a 1944 book,"The Unwritten Laws of Engineering," by W. J. King, with other material coming from such sources as a Wall Street Journal article by Donald Rumsfeld, and - to lighten things up a bit - a section from "Dave Barry Turns 50."
Mr. Swanson, of course, regrets the error -- but claims it wasn't his fault. He had given all the source material to one of his assistants to assemble. Swanson isn't the plagiarist - it's his aide. Swanson's only mistake was to trust the poor worker bee and not check it against the sources himself.
The Raytheon board has punished Swanson by taking away certain bonuses and perks, but not his salary or his job. After all, it was an accident. It's not like he actually wrote the book that bears his name. No mention in the story of whether or not he's fired the assistant.
This is not the first time that the Raytheon CEO has made it to this blog. Back in 2002 he spoke at my brother's graduation from Pepperdine's MBA program. His topic that day was "Ethics."