Swanson’s Rules of Management


The New York Times has a story on Raytheon CEO Bill Swanson's Unwritten Rules, a handbook of management wisdom. The article addresses accusations that Swanson is a plagiarist. It seems that 17 of the rules were pulled almost verbatim from another source.

The booklet became popular last summer when Business 2.0 ran an article about its "secret" existence. While Swanson admits that the insights aren't his own, he doesn't specifically acknowledge where they came from. I'm not sure what the accusers hope to get out of Swanson. He may have written the rules down 30 years ago and forgotten the source over time. Is that a big deal? I don't think so, since he doesn't present the booklet as his own original ideas.

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