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Interesting case of plagiarism and rectification without apology

[update 5/17/11] – the editor for the magazine got back with me, apologized and rectified the situation. I removed their name from the title of he post.

At some point in time tonight, I got a Google Alert about the Tribalization of Business Study, a study which I co-founded with Deloitte and the Society for New Communications Research and which is in its 4th year.

The article, written by Marco Ciobo, a Principal at AT Kearney, claimed that “A study by AT Kearney in 2009, called The Tribalization of Business, found that the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies in the US investigated, and then relegated, social media to the marketing department, which was also given responsibility for imposing tight policy controls on its use.” (screenshot here)

I immediately posted a comment on the Business Spectator Article, alerting them to the fact that the study was not done by AT Kearney, but by Human 1.0 (formerly Beeline Labs), Deloitte and the Society for New Communications Research. I also tweeted my indignation with the obvious plagiarism. After all, the study made for the foundation of our award winning book, The Hyper-Social Organization, which was published by McGraw-Hill last year.

The comment was not approved, but the article was modified to say that “A study by Deloitte and the Society for New Communications Research, in 2009, called The Tribalization of Business*” – without any mention that:

  • The article had been modified
  • Human 1.0/Beeline Labs is a founding sponsor and a driving force behind the study

In my book, this is a bad practice all around, violating most Human 1.0 principles we discovered through the Tribalization of Business study.

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