ISO Technical Committee 176 (TC 176), responsible for authoring the ISO 9000 family of standards, has released an official “summary of papers” on future concepts the group is considering including in future standards. The document, which includes discussions on ethics and integrity, includes huge amounts of plagiarized material included without any attribution.

Document N1362 was released on June 24th by ISO, and aims to provide a summary of various “papers” alleged to be written by TC 176 members on key concepts, including “People Aspects,” “Agility,” and “Innovation.” The intent is to discover which of the various concepts may be useful for incorporation into future revisions of ISO 9001 or other related standards. The N1362 document was released by committee manager Mark Schuessler of Canada.

Prior drafts showed TC 176 toying with the concept of adding “climate change” to ISO 9001, which resulted in a minor level of outrage from users. The latest document shows that TC 176 has abandoned that concept, as well as the need for including “business continuity planning.” Thje decision to drop the latter is odd, since that is more tightly connected to quality management systems than many of the remaining concepts.

Oxebridge conducted a detailed review of the text, however, and found it contained entire sentences taken from multiple online sources, and then published without any attribution. Oxebridge utilized Grammarly and other online automated plagiarism checkers, and then manually searched for additional phrases using Google.

Where the N1362 document included text taken from ISO’s own publications, the document did provide citations, showing that the authors had the ability to cite sources, and simply did not when material was taken from sources outside of ISO.

Under the discussion of the concept of People Aspects, the sentence “for any business to be successful, it must have three things: a robust overall strategy, exceptional leaders, and engaged employees” appears lifted from a 2018 article appearing in Business to Community (B2C) entitled “Key Employee Engagement Strategies for 2018” written by John Hawthorne.

For the section on Organizational Culture, multiple quotes were lifted from the CourseHero, including training materials from a course entitled  BUSM4185 Introduction to Management and written by Le Anh Khoa of RMIT University Vietnam. This includes the sentence “a weak culture is difficult to define, understand, or explain.”

Ironically, the plagiarism did not stop when TC 176 attempted to tackle the subject of “Ethics & Integrity.” Portions of that section were also taken from a 2019 Fort Hayes State University exam, also found on CourseHero. Oxebridge found a total of ten uncited quotes taken from CourseHero materials.

Within the section on Artificial Intelligence, multiple sentences were taken from an article on AI published by the SAS Insitute, and then only moderately rewritten.

TC 176 Text SAS Source Text
AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and take care of tasks historically addressed by human beings Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks.
AI enables the processing of large amounts of data and insights derived from data patterns. Using these technologies, computers can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data.

 

In the section on Circular Economy, the TC 176 document includes text plagiarized from an article published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:

TC 176 Text MacArthur Foundation Source Text 
A circular economy goes beyond the current ‘take-make-use-dispose’ industrial model and aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It decouples economic activity from consumption of finite resources, and designs waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources and by using a life-cycle perspective, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital based on three principles: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; regenerate natural systems. Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital.  It is based on three principles: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, regenerate natural systems

 

The sentence “organizations with a tyrannical style of management create a climate of fear, where there is little room for dialogue and where complaining may be considered futile” appears on a 2018 SWEC blog post as “an authoritarian style of leadership may create a climate of fear, where there is little or no room for dialogue and where complaining may be considered futile.”

The sentence “organizational culture influences the way people interact, the context within which knowledge is created, the resistance they have towards change, and the way people share (or do not share) knowledge” was used without any edits at all, taken from the Neighbors Helping Neighbors USA website.

The definition provided by TC 176 for “organizational agility” was taken from a 2021 PMI paper Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report: Organizational Agility, but was included without attribution.

Oxebridge has criticized TC 176 for allowing its ranks and leadership to be populated by largely unqualified private consultants who intentionally work to make ISO 9001 and other standards complicated, in order to sell consulting services later. The widespread practice of plagiarism in an official TC 176 publication will not improve this perception, as it now appears the members of TC 176 — who often declare themselves “experts,” and grant each other awards through ISO, ASQ, and CQI — have so little knowledge, they rely on using other people’s intellectual property and claiming it as their own.

In 2020, TC 176 SC2 Chair Paul Simpson claimednowhere in 9001 does it require inspection” displaying a stunning lack of knowledge on the standard he is tasked with authoring.

Ironically, ISO has been aggressive in pursuing legal claims to protect its own intellectual property. ISO previously threatened a lawsuit against Oxebridge for “discussions” related to draft ISO documents. ISO was forced to drop the threat after Oxebridge warned it would countersue for “trademark bullying,” which is illegal under US law.

Mark Schuessler was contacted for comment but did not reply before publication.

Oxebridge is pressuring world governments to regulate ISO, which it has deemed as “supralegal” and operating without respect for international law.

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