Augusta Richards Responding to Plagiarism (A)

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: April 23, 2010
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-044

Core Disciplines: Ethics, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Negotiations, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This is an ethics case about a dilemma facing Augusta Richards, professor of business at the Boston University School of Management. She has been informed by an international colleague in her field that one of her papers has been plagiarized and published in the Basic Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research. The perpetrators are a group of authors, including a doctoral student, a new professor, and an esteemed professor in her field that she had previously met. Now, Richards must decide how to obtain justice for an undeniably wrong act committed in her academic community. However, she agonizes about the possibility of destroying others’ reputations as well as maintaining her own professional reputation in the community. August Richards (B) and (C) accompany this case and describe how Richards responded.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Ethical dilemmas involve right-versus-right decisions.
  • Resolving the tensions among these dilemmas can have cascading effects with subsequent ethical dilemmas emerging.
  • Ethical dilemmas are often complicated by the fact that there are a variety of stakeholders with competing interests.
  • Considering your response to an ethical dilemma requires careful ethical reasoning while also considering the extended ramifications of your decisions.