CSR experts, people that write about, research, and practice CSR day-in, day-out are a fairly responsible bunch, right? Uh, wrong. Unfortunately, if our recent experience is anything to go by, there are a few irresponsible CSR experts out there decidedly. Actually, worse than that; not just irresponsible, but flat-out cheats and plagiarists.
And we’re not only talking about the most common CSR snake-oil salesmen who are simply just out to produce a quick buck from some dishonest greenwashing. No, we’re speaking the supposed purveyors of something resembling objective truth – academics and journalists. How do we realize? Simple. Within the last month or two we’ve come across several glaring types of so-called experts simply stealing our work and passing it off as their own.
Consider this one which has only emerged. Jimena has published other parts in the Canadian Mining Journal about CSR, which, as considerably we can inform, contain substantial servings of text just cut and pasted from other’s articles and websites. Our friends at Honest Corporation are a popular source particularly, it seems. Obviously, she claims on her behalf LinkedIn page, to be a “professional journalist” as well as a CSR adviser and lecturer, with experience amongst others advising at the Global Reporting Initiative and Anglo-American. Now, we’re not saying that Jimena isn’t an expert in CSR,or in her specialist field of stakeholder engagement and communication.
But as a potential editor, company, client, or audience of hers, would you really put your rely upon someone who, from time to time, made a living by stealing other people’s work? It’s not merely journalists though. While plagiarism in academia is usually talked about with regards to students (and we have to say, this is still a huge problem in the sector), there are no lack of cheats standing up at the front end of the classroom too. Again, our own experience here’s instructive. We also did a further digging and found out that one of the ostensible authors little, Kevin Tang, had plagiarized almost his whole PhD thesis even.
- California State University-East Bay
- When you just need something to create on
- Frequency response
- 2013 | NOVEMBER | BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Gumption Panache
- Conflict within an organization is always bad
- Survey email
- It indicates who supervises whom and how various units are inter-related
It got about 5 minutes to find this out given that he’d copied almost word for word Jennifer Lynes’ dissertation about environmental dedication in the flight industry that was easily available on-line. So we informed Lynes (who was suitably stunned) and Bond University in Australia, who acquired awarded Tang’s PhD. They’ve now used the web version of Tang’s PhD down and up to date us a thorough investigation into the allegations is underway.
So you can’t check now that one yourself, but believe us, it is a cut-and-dried case of plagiarism, right down to the non-public acknowledgments page even! We’d like to believe that these are just isolated incidents, but realistically we think it is just the tip of the iceberg. Both these cases came to light by accident just in the last couple of weeks and we only noticed them because they were rip-offs of our own work.
Who else is blissfully unaware of getting their CSR research stolen with a so-called expert? And how many other CSR experts are out there transferring off somebody else’s are their own that people haven’t discovered yet? Academia certainly has been getting into all sorts of cheating scandals lately. Earlier in the year we witnessed the forced resignation of the German Secretary of Defence after revelations of his plagiarized PhD thesis. At the moment, none of the more visible scandals have been worried about CSR experts. Not yet, in any case. But if our experience is anything to put into practice, it’s probably simply a matter of your time.
Such people, however, are extremely rare, and it might be a waste of the organization’s time to search for them. Instead, hire the best team of people who can work well and exemplify their individual roles together. The results will be some impressive advances in big data analytics that will move the business forward.