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Business School dean concludes part-time lecturer erred (TEXTS OF SPENCE'S AND PASCALE'S STATEMENTS FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE.)
STANFORD -- The dean of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business has started disciplinary action against a part-time lecturer for using another author's work without adequate attribution.
Dean A. Michael Spence said he had concluded, after a review by senior faculty members of the Business School, that Richard Pascale did not give adequate or appropriate credit to Gregg Easterbrook in a 1990 book, Managing on the Edge.
The "poor judgment as well as inadequate care" by Pascale, a San Francisco management consultant, makes "sanctions appropriate," Spence announced on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Pascale stated that he had already taken "appropriate corrective action" and did not feel sanctions were warranted. (See attached statements.)
A chapter from Pascale's book was excerpted and published in the September 1990 issue of the Stanford Business School Magazine. A San Francisco reader discovered similarities between the article "Managing on the Edge: The Petersen Years at Ford" and an Easterbrook article "Have You Driven a Ford Lately?" that appeared in the October 1986 Washington Monthly.
"In my opinion, it is clear from the similarities in the passages referred to that the footnotes in Mr. Pascale's book do not give adequate or appropriate credit to Mr. Easterbrook," Spence said in a prepared statement. "Under these circumstances footnoted passages in quotation marks, or some other device indicating with precision what text and content was taken from another's work, would have been required for adequate credit.
"This represents poor judgment as well as inadequate care in giving credit to another that reflects badly on the author and the school," Spence said. "In view of these conclusions, I have determined that sanctions are appropriate. These are subject to appeal and will not become final until the process is complete."
In response, Pascale's statement said: "My apology to Easterbrook when this matter was first brought to my attention and the changes to the book to which we both agreed in May aimed at appropriate corrective action. I do not believe that sanctions are called for."
The Stanford Business School Magazine does not use footnotes; when excerpting material from a book, an editor converts footnotes into attribution in the body of the text. Since the Easterbrook-inspired passages were not directly footnoted in the book, the editor did not attribute the material to Easterbrook. Spence has directed the editorial staff of the magazine to notify authors of articles of the policy of not using footnotes. The magazine is to request "explicitly" that the author review the magazine article to ensure that it gives adequate credit to all sources in the text of the article.
STATEMENT BY MICHAEL SPENCE ON THE ARTICLE BY RICHARD PASCALE IN THE STANFORD BUSINESS SCHOOL MAGAZINE
In April 1991, the Stanford Business School Magazine received a letter from Mr. Robert Levering, drawing attention to similarities between an article, "Managing on the Edge: the Petersen Years at Ford" by Richard Pascale, in the September 1990 issue of the Stanford Business School Magazine, and an article "Have You Driven a Ford Lately?" by Gregg Easterbrook, in the October 1986 issue of the Washington Monthly. The article by Pascale was excerpted from two chapters on the Ford Motor Company in a book, Managing on the Edge, by Richard Pascale, published in 1990.
Following Stanford procedure, at my request, a small group of senior faculty reviewed the relevant material and prepared a report which was seen and commented on by Mr. Pascale (a lecturer at Stanford) prior to my seeing it. After receiving and reviewing the report and the underlying material, I believe the following facts are true:
1. Five passages in the Pascale alumni magazine article and in the book, ranging from a single sentence to four paragraphs, are identical, or nearly so, to passages in the Easterbrook article.
2. The passages referred to all come from the two chapters of Mr. Pascale's book that are chiefly concerned with Ford Motor Company. Those chapters contain approximately twenty notes referring to Mr. Easterbrook, which appear in a separate "notes" section in the back of the book. Ten of the notes are in the five passages mentioned. Only one part of one of those passages is in quotation marks, signalling that they are reproduced from Easterbrook. Although the other nine notes refer to Easterbrook also, they do not indicate the fact that the text is verbatim or closely paraphrased from the Easterbrook article.
3. The Stanford Business School Magazine article, which is about five pages long, was excerpted from the two chapters (together, about 58 pages long) by a member of the magazine staff, and its text is essentially identical to passages from the book. The initiative to publish a version of the Ford chapters came from the magazine.
4. It has been and is the policy of the magazine not to include footnotes in articles of this type. The policy was followed in this case.
5. Mr. Pascale did extensive on-site research at Ford in the course of writing the relevant chapter in the book.
This review has focused on the passages common to the magazine article and the book chapters. In my opinion, it is clear from the similarity in the five passages referred to that the footnotes in Mr. Pascale's book do not give adequate or appropriate credit to Mr. Easterbrook. Under these circumstances, footnoted passages in quotation marks, or some other device indicating with precision what text and content was taken from another's work, would have been required for adequate credit. This represents poor judgment as well as inadequate care in giving credit to another that reflects badly on the author and the school. It is a duty of authors to take extraordinary precautions to ensure that even inadvertent failures to give adequate credit are avoided.
In view of these conclusions, I have determined that sanctions are appropriate. These are subject to appeal and will not become final until that process is complete.
I have further concluded that the magazine's policy of excluding footnotes exacerbated the problem of inadequate credit. However, as my preceding comments imply, even if the notes had been included, there would have remained a serious problem of credit. I do not believe the magazine's staff can reasonably be expected to determine whether an original article does or does not give adequate credit to all its sources. However, the policy of excluding footnotes entails a risk that excerpted articles in the magazine may not adequately recognize sources in the original.
Accordingly, I have directed that the magazine alter its policies in two ways. First, for all excerpted articles, the magazine will notify the author or authors in writing of the footnote policy. Second, it will at the same time draw the author's attention to the risk of inadequate credit and request explicitly that the author review the magazine article in relation to all sources to ensure that the magazine article gives adequate credit in the text of the article.
Mr. Pascale has done influential scholarly work on business management and made significant contributions to that field. He has further contributed to the MBA curriculum at the GSB to the benefit of our students. I am saddened by the findings in this case.
It is clear that the article in the magazine did not give Mr. Easterbrook credit for his work and his insights about Ford. Mr. Easterbrook's words and concepts were used with neither permission nor acknowledgment. I extend to Mr. Easterbrook my sincere apology on behalf of the magazine and the school for this failure.
This is the text of a statement by Richard Pascale in response to Dean A. Michael Spence's statement.
The very first footnote to the relevant chapters in my book, Managing on the Edge, states, "For excellent close-in reporting of the turnaround [at Ford], I have drawn extensively upon Gregg Easterbrook, 'Ford Revs Up.' " My obvious intent in that reference -- as well as the 21 other references in these chapters that credit Easterbrook's article -- was to give appropriate attribution.
Unfortunately, these references have been lost in much of the commentary on this case. The press has seized on Managing on the Edge as another instance of plagiarism. The Stanford Inquiry Committee evaluating this matter, however, concluded that:
-- This was not an instance of plagiarism;
-- "Some observers would consider the matter of attribution a close call"; but,
-- In their view, insufficient attribution was given to Easterbrook in sentences where his words were used and he was footnoted but quotation marks also should have been used.
The Inquiry Committee findings were available to the dean on June 3, 1991. Had reporters been made aware of the findings when they first inquired of the matter with the Business School in mid-July, the press would have been informed that this is not an instance of plagiarism and the matter would not have attracted the negative publicity that I fear is infecting Stanford's current evaluation.
The dean's statement properly focuses on the "policy" currently in place at the Business School Alumni Magazine of deleting footnotes from excerpts. The dean's statement also should have reflected that I was not made aware of this policy and was never shown galley proofs of the article the magazine excerpted from my book.
The dean's statement contends that authors must take "extraordinary precautions to insure that even inadvertent failures to give adequate credit are avoided." My opening reference to the Easterbrook article and the 21 other references aimed toward that goal. My apology to Easterbrook when this matter was first brought to my attention and the changes to the book to which we both agreed in May aimed at appropriate corrective action. I do not believe that sanctions are called for.
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