Fellow's Award Ethics, Morality and the Dark Side of Acr: Implications For Our Future


Jacob Jacoby (1995) ,"Fellow's Award Ethics, Morality and the Dark Side of Acr: Implications For Our Future", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 22, eds. Frank R. Kardes and Mita Sujan, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 21-47.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 22, 1995      Pages 21-47



Jacob Jacoby, New York University

The author appreciates the reactions to an earlier version of this manuscript provided by Jerry Olson (Pennsylvania State University), Jonathan Weiss (New York) and two friends who prefer to remain anonymous.

"But above all things, truth beareth away the victory."

Inscription over the entrance to the Main Branch of the New York Public Library.

First, let me add my own personal note of congratulations to Morris Holbrook and Russ Belk, whose election as ACR Fellows was long overdue.

Today, I'll be using some personal experiences to illustrate a problem that affects us all and which, if not recognized and treated, is likely to render ACR not credible as the voice of scholarly consumer research.

In the process, I'll be speaking bluntly about things that are unpleasantCethics, or the lack thereof, on the part of some respected members of ACR. Beyond describing what I believe to be instances of scholarly misrepresentation and plagiarism by prominent ACR members, I'll also be discussing things like arrogance, hypocrisy and the abuse of power at ACR. Of course, any who are offended by my remarks can always bring me up before ACR's Ethics (nee Professional Affairs) Committee. Oops, I forgotCthough, as President, I made certain that ACR had such a committee (see Friedman, 1977a, 1977b; Jacoby, 1977), it was disbanded several years afterward.

So without an Ethics Committee or Code of Ethics, I guess anything goes, doesn't it? Though some within ACR apparently operate as if this were the case, I don't and won't. That is why the Address, along with its appendices, document what I have to say. As these appendices are too extensive to be included in the ACR Proceedings, I've brought along copies for each ACR member in the audience. [Copies of the appendices are available upon request.] Clearly, I am prepared to back up and take full responsibility for everything I say. My purpose is not to embarrass anyone, though, in the process, this may occur. Rather, through providing concrete, real-life examples, my objective is to rouse sentiment and spur action toward much needed reform within our discipline generally, and specifically within ACR. Why? Because it is in our own self-interest to do so; not doing so will only diminish us individually and collectively as the voice of consumer research.


Ethics has been defined in various ways. According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, ethics is "the discipline dealing with what is good and bad with moral duty and obligation;" essentially, it is a "set of moral principles or values" (Merriam-Webster, 1977, p. 392). Moral, in turn, is defined as "of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior" (p. 748). As it permeates everything I am about to say, let me re-state this point: At core, ethics is about principles of right and wrong behavior.

What does this mean in practical terms? Specifically, how do we know or determine just what is right and what is wrong? There are some guidelines. At least since Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, fairness and justice have been accepted cornerstones of what is right; unfairness and injustice are understood to be wrong. Another cornerstone is each individual's right to be treated with dignity and respect (Engel et al., 1993, p. 817). Though it is not always fail-safe, perhaps the best rule of thumb for someone trying to distinguish right from wrong is to apply the Golden Rule, namely, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." "At its heart, the Golden Rule calls for moral and ethical reasoning to be based on the highest principle that the rights of others should be paramount to our own" (Engel, et al. 1993, p. 817; italics supplied). In my experience, the best way to apply the rule is to treat it as a negative, namely, "Don't do unto others what you would NOT want them to do unto you."


Ever since joining academia, I've heard colleagues hold forth on the purported big difference between the ethics of academicians vs. those in other arenas, particularly in business or law. The argument goes something like this: Though there are some bad apples, the proportion of unethical people in academia is trivial relative to the proportion found in business. (A version of this argument may be found in Holbrook, 1985; see Jacoby, 1985, for a contrasting point of view.) This thesis can be depicted by the two overlapping normal distributions in Figure 1, with the shaded portion representing academia's rotten apples.

Well I'm here to tell you that the B-A distinction is a BAD distinction. Widely reported scandals at leading academic institutions (e.g., Stanford University, The University of Michigan, Rockefeller University) over the past few years suggest that rotten deeds and apples may flourish in the academic orchard. As the findings by Swazey et al. reveal, the patterns of ethical misconduct in academia "do not support the `bad apple' explanation that is often proffered to account for scientific misconduct" (1993, p.550).

Not only does the myth of superior ethics among academicians have no basis in fact but, as will be documented below, given this organization's cavalier attitude toward ethics, the entitlement to presume ethical superiority is a particularly erroneous and unhealthy fiction when applied to ACR. This presumption blinds us to seeing and accepting the obvious, namely, that our continued inattention to ethics is unwarranted; it also may actually encourage the development and growth of rotten apples capable of ruining the entire orchard.


Ethics pertain to every aspect of academia. This is especially true for the scholarly research enterprise. Thus, it is surprising how few and far between are scholarly articles on ethics in our discipline. Little has changed in the 20 years since Tybout and Zaltman observed: "The extant marketing literature is ... silent on ethical issues when compared to other disciplines in the social sciences..." (1974, p. 357). Since then, some work has focused on ethics outside of academe, specifically, the ethics of marketing managers and corporate marketing researchers (e.g., Akaah and Riordan, 1989; Ferrell and Gresham, 1985; Ferrell and Skinner, 1988; Ferrell and Weaver 1978; Hunt et al. 1984; Smith and Quelch 1993). This parallels the emphasis in our introductory consumer behavior texts where, if discussed at all, the focus is generally on the interface between consumer researchers and the public beyond (e.g., Engel et al. 1993, Ch. 24; Wilkie, 1990, Appendix 21-B). In an interesting reversal, one paper has even considered the ethical beliefs of the final consumer (Muncy and Scott 1992).



As to work conducted on ethics within the academic setting, the overwhelming majority of articles have focused on ethical issues surrounding human subject research (e.g., Misra, 1992; Sojka & Spangenberg, 1994; Toy, Olson and Wright 1993; Tybout and Zaltman 1974). Few have considered ethics within academe or among the community of academic scholars (Belch, 1993; Holbrook, 1993). Though much can be said regarding unethical conduct by department chairmen and deans, our present focus is on the conduct of ACR members as these reflect the discipline of consumer research. In the process, I'll be describing five cases involving scholarship (Cases 1,2,3,4 and 7) and three involving the governance of ARC (Cases 5, 6 and 8).

Ethics within the Community of ACR Scholars:

The National Academy of Sciences (1992) has clustered ethical problems involving scientists into three categories. The most serious category, termed Misconduct in Science, includes "fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing or reporting research" (see Swazey et al. 1993, p. 542). The cases discussed below focus on one or more of these issues.

Walter Massey, a former Director of the National Science Foundation, observed: "Few things are more damaging to the scientific enterprise than falsehoodsCbe they the result of error, self-deception, sloppiness and haste, or, in the worst case, dishonesty. It is the paradox of research that the reliance on truth is both the source of modern science... and its intrinsic fragility" (Massey, 1992; Swazey et al. 1993, pp. 552-3).

It is likely that there is hardly an actively publishing scholar alive today (including this author) who has not, at one or more times in his or her career, spoken, written or published some falsehood. In the overwhelming majority of cases, for any one of a number of reasons, [Several years after publication of an article on which I was the junior author, I found that a portion of one sentence in a section drafted by the senior author had been taken from another's writings. Though frightened for my academic life (I was an untenured Assistant Professor at the time), I wrote the editor of the journal explaining what had happened and offering to make amends. His decision was to let the matter drop.] I suspect these incidents are innocently and unknowingly committed by the individual. In my opinion, ethical aspects surface only when there is good reason to believe that, at the time the act was committed, the person either knew, or had exceptionally good reason(s) to know, that what he was doing was somehow in error. In instances of plagiarism, the persons committing the plagiarism must clearly be aware that the person from whom they are plagiarizing was the one to have developed those ideas and/or crafted that language.

While scholars sometimes unknowingly misrepresent another's work, misrepresentation takes on ethical overtones when there is strong evidence (such as the scholar's own prior or contemporaneous published writings) to indicate that the person knew or had good reason to know that how he or she was representing the other's work either was not accurate, was not in fair balance, or was likely to mislead a not insubstantial number of readers into extracting a false implication.

In my opinion, the same applies when author B neglects to cite earlier work by author A when that work is materially and directly relevant to the issue at hand and citing it would cause author B to modify claims made in his or her own writings. Of course, no one can be aware of all the directly relevant and potentially relevant work by others. It is only when there are strong reasons to believe that author B knew or had good reason to know about this other work, yet decided not to mention it, that ethical overtones arise. This can happen when that author's own contemporaneous published writings, or that person's direct access to other information, indicates that he knew or had good reason to know he was omitting reference to another's work that would make his own writings either false, inaccurate, "not in fair balance" or likely to mislead.

Case 1: Mis-characterizing a Published Work: In the first case, by publishing an article that mis-characterizes my research in an area where I do research and consulting, this person made it appear that my research was so stupidly conceived and designed that it deserved being highlighted as a prime example of a "scandalous error." I'm referring to the survey I designed and conducted for Kraft, Inc., that was submitted as evidence in the Federal Trade Commission v. Kraft (1991).

All parties involved in the dispute, including Kraft, agreed that calcium was material to (i.e., impacted upon the purchase decisions of) consumers of Kraft's Singles processed cheese (see Jacoby and Szybillo, 1995). Thus, the purpose of my research was not to determine whether the presence of calcium was material to consumers. Rather, it was to determine whether consumers thought the difference in calcium between that contained in 5 oz. of milk vs. that contained in 3.5 oz. of milk was material. By analogy, this is comparable to asking someone who was considering buying a pen not whether the $4.79 price of the pen was material, but whether the 10-cent difference in price between $4.79 and $4.89 would have a material impact on their purchase decision. Yet directly under the title "The Scandalous Record of Avoidable Errors in Expert Evidence Offered in FTC and Lanham Act Cases," this ACR member misrepresented my research by writing: "In another example of avoidably erroneous evidence, Kraft, Inc. tried to establish that the presence of calcium is not regarded as material by consumers who purchase cheese" (Preston, 1992, p. 57; bolding supplied).

One might be inclined to excuse this mis-characteri zation as an innocent mistake were it not for evidence that, in my opinion, indicates this author knew or should have known it was a misrepresentation when submitting his article for publication. In a co-authored article appearing a scant three pages earlier, he had written: "We posit that the best test of materiality entails comparing the importance of the implied falsity with that of the truth, much as Jacoby did when he asked consumers whether the difference in calcium would cause them to continue or stop buying Singles" (Richards and Preston, p. 54; bolding added). The TV example provided in his very next paragraph further demonstrates his clear understanding that the materiality issue, and Kraft's survey of it, revolved around the question "Is the difference in calcium material?," not "Is calcium material?"

Some may think this is really something too small to complain about. [Science, as the pursuit of truthful knowledge, and scientists operate on the assumption that the scholarly research we read has been truthfully gathered and truthfully reported. If we can't assume the truth and accuracy of what is written, then we have no foundation and everything crumbles. Thus, whether as a result of sloppy scholarship, fraud, misrepresentation, etc., a scholar who publishes untruths injures all stakeholders. Like pregnancy, truth in scholarship is an all or nothing affair. Those willing to excuse "a little" dishonesty, misrepresentation, etc. are on a slippery slope and place the integrity of the entire scholarly enterprise in jeopardy.] Again, I ask you to consider the Golden Rule: What if it was your work that was being inaccurately represented in a way that then made it seem so stupid and so wrong that it warranted being called a "scandalous error?" Would you like working decades to establish a reputation as a competent researcher, only to see that reputation tarnished by another researcher who, though he knew or should have known that what he was publishing incorrectly described what you had done, still went on to misrepresent your work so that he could label it scandalous? I suspect you would not like it at all and, like me, would feel that, if there was anything scandalous about the matter, it was the conduct of this mis-characterizer. Please understand that regardless of the rationale or qualifications that person might later use to justify his actions (see Appendix A), since his misrepresentation was published in one of our more highly regarded journals, he never will be able to prevent others who read his misrepresentation and, not knowing it to be such, accept it as true from making similar aspersions about the quality of my work in their own writings.

I submit that, whether by intent or sloppy scholarship, incorrectly representing what someone else has written not only qualifies as unethical conduct by a scholar (see the definition provided by the National Academy of Sciences, 1992), but also violates ethical "principles of right and wrong behavior" as these are generally understood and accepted by society at large.

Case 2: "Deception Via Omission" I: While the above (Case 1) reflects misrepresentation by referring to something I did write, I believe the next two cases reflect misrepresentation arising from failing to do so. Were this to occur in advertising, those familiar with FTC policy (as is the author involved in Case 2; see Richards, 1990, pp. 30-31) would label it an instance of what the FTC "deception via omission." Those more familiar with Food and Drug Administration policy (see Sections 502n and 1.105 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1962) would recognize it as being misleading by virtue of "lacking in fair balance." [By example, an ad for a prescription drug that cited only the studies showing it had a positive effect while failing to also report studies showing it had a negative effect would be deemed by the FDA as "not in fair balance." Similarly, an ad that cited a researcher's early work in support of a drug but failed to also cite the fact that that same researcher later revised his opinion or obtained new data that modified or contradicted his earlier findings would also be deemed to be "lacking in fair balance."] Regardless of what term is used, I think the behavior in each case reflects unethical scholarship.

Case 2 involves a monograph which its author writes was "intended to serve as a reference for behavioral scientists interested in studying issues related to deception in advertising" (Richards 1990, p. 178). In a passage that indicates he was aware of and had read our most recent published work on this subject, this author compliments Jacoby and Hoyer (1987) for "offering the most comprehensive and insightful view to date of the relationship between comprehension and mediated communications" (Richards, 1990, p. 84). Yet when he subsequently (on pages 104-109) summarizes and critiques prior definitions of deceptive/misleading advertising, strangely for a work claiming to "serve as a reference for behavioral scientists," he neglects to mention the comprehensive definition of deceptive/misleading advertising we provided (Jacoby and Hoyer 1987, pp. 54-62) in the same chapter that he so nicely lauded twenty pages earlier (on p. 84). Instead, he cited and attacked the definition I had developed twelve years earlier (Jacoby and Small, 1975) and long since revised. Perhaps he did this so he could then look good demolishing a "straw man;" perhaps he did this so that, by not having acknowledged the Jacoby and Hoyer (1987) definition which would have refuted his point, he was able to assert: "Without exception they [i.e., the prior definitions] fail to explain whether their intent is to define deception or deceptiveness ..." (p.104; italics added); perhaps he omitted reference to our work so that he would not have to explain why his definition (Richards, 1990, p. 109) had so many elements in common with ours (Jacoby and Hoyer, 1987, p. 59-62).

Regardless, because we explicitly stated that our thinking had been substantially revised since publication of Jacoby and Small (1975) twelve years earlier, [After referring to both Jacoby and Small (1975) and Jacoby, Hoyer and Sheluga (1980), we state: "Our current views reflect evolution and change." (Jacoby and Hoyer, 1987, p.55.)] it would be hard for anyone reading our 1987 treatment not to understand that our 1975 conceptualization was no longer one we accepted. This would be especially true for someone sufficiently knowledgeable to be writing a reference work on the subject of deceptive advertising who also claimed to have read our 1987 chapter.

Though our 1975 treatment clearly labeled what was and was not a dictionary definition, it was virtually impossible for anyone reading our 1987 work to extract the implication that the dictionary definition we supplied was one and the same as, or substitutable for, the definition of deception used by regulators (1987, pp. 54-55). Yet despite the fact that he knew or should have known our thinking had substantially changed and that we had provided such clarification, this author (Richards, 1990) presented our outdated views as if they were our most recently published views. Referring to our 1975 treatment, he then went on to write:

Although the authors chose a dictionary definition of deception, and may not themselves be confused about its legal implications, it seems ironic that in an article about misleading advertising they should mislead their readers. (Richards, 1990, p. 22; bolding supplied).

Let me assure you that my 1975 piece was not written to mislead readers nor is there any shard of evidence that it misled anyone. Yet instead of writing that he thought our article "might mislead readers," and without providing any evidence to support his assertion, the language this person chose to use implied we actually had misled readers. While it may be permissible for scholars to give things a particular "spin," it is not permissible for them to misrepresent another's work. As the very point at issue had been clarified in our 1987 workCa work this author (Richards, 1990) claims to have readCwe consider it "scandalous" that he would use language asserting we had misled readers (when we hadn't), yet fail to note that the point he was railing against had been clarified in our subsequent writings, which he himself (as a scholar compiling a "reference" work) claims to have read. I guess it is fair for me to say "it seems ironic that in a book about deceptive advertising the author should, via omission and not being in fair balance, deceive his readers."

Would you like someone who, via omission, in your opinion clearly misrepresented your work and then characterized it as something done to "mislead readers?" I suspect not. Do you think this is how that author would have appreciated having his work handled had the positions been reversed? I think not.

The bottom line is that he (Richards) had ample reason to know and should have known we had substantially revised and clarified our earlier thinking. Since he should have been aware of this and also claimed to be writing a "reference" work on the subject, it was incumbent upon him to note our revised thinking. Doing otherwise reflects "insufficient or misleading reporting" and "inappropriate citation," two of 21 "transgressions of scientific integrity" identified and discussed at a 1991 conference on promoting integrity in behavioral science research (Adler, 1991). Moreover, these infractions are equivalent to "deceptive via omission" and "misleading by not being in fair balance," concepts central to this author's area of expertise.

Case 3: "Deception Via Omission" II: This next case is especially interesting. As explained below, it involves four coBauthors, only one of whom I have reasons to believe knew or should have known about, but did not cite, directly relevant work that would have made null and void the paper's claim of having developed something completely new.

Since virtually all here are scholars with an understanding of the rules of the game, let me pose the following for your consideration. Suppose I had written a widely distributed and cited paper claiming that a procedure I developed was a new and original "first of its kind" contribution. Suppose, further, that not only were there relevant prior publications in core psychology journals indicating that someone else had developed and used virtually identical procedures years earlier, but there were a number of reasons to believe I knew about this earlier work, yet chose to make no mention of it in my paper. Were I to do such a thing, how would you characterize my behavior?

With these questions serving as background, consider the following from a widely circulated and cited working paper (Johnson, Payne, Schkade and Bettman, 1989). In the introduction, entitled "Background," the authors write:

As an alternative to simple information boards and difficult to use eye movement recording, we propose a new methodology for monitoring information acquisition behavior. That methodology uses computer graphics to display information which is accessed using a computer-based pointing device called a "mouse." (p. 3; bolding supplied)

One interpretation of this passage (or the entire paper) is that the only new development being claimed was the use of a "mouse" as a pointing device, not the entire system. Yet such an interpretation does not seem to fit well with the language used. By comparing the new procedure to "simple information boards," these authors generate the pragmatic implication (Harris and Monaco, 1978) that there were no other previous instances where computers have been used to study consumer information acquisition. Why else would they be positioning their procedure as "an alternative to simple information boards"? Relatedly, note the following promise made in the Abstract:

This report documents a procedure for monitoring the information acquisition stages of decision behavior. .... The relationship of the procedure to other process tracing techniques is discussed. (Bolding supplied.)

Yet when it comes to fulfilling this promise to describe the relationship of their procedure to other process tracing techniques, the authors provide only the following sentence:

There are a number of computer-based pointing or position entry devices such as a lightpen, joystick, directional cursor keys, and mouse. (p. 4)

Beyond acknowledging these general possibilities, nowhere do they cite or refer to any previous decision making research that used a micro-computer controlled pointing device as part of a system offering a number of flexible graphics and data recording routinesCagain reinforcing the pragmatic implication that there must be none such. Yet consider the following appearing in the Journal of Applied Psychology (Jacoby, Mazursky, et al. 1984, p. 535):

All information was stored in a Cromemco Z-2H microcomputer .... Respondents commenced their ... decision ... by communicating with the computer via a light pen attached to a color video monitor. After an initial series of person-machine interBactions to review the task instructions and rules, two "menu" lists were displayedCone containing the names of the eight stocks, and the other being a list of 26 fundamental factors .... The analyst was permitted to access only a single piece of information at a time .... Accessing of the information was accomplished by touching the screen twice with the light penConce to identify the stock for which the information was being requested and a second time to identify the fundamental factor [Instead of having to tough the screen twice, as with the "menu" format described above, a seris of studies conducted during 1980-1982 used a "blank matrix" format that required touching the plasma screen only once.] and the desired information appeared on the screen almost instantly. After acquiring this first item of information, the computer inquired whether the analysts wanted to make a best buy recommendation at that point or wanted to acquire additional information. If the analyst replied that he or she wanted to acquire additional information, the two lists were displayed again, and the analysts used the light pen to indicate which item of information he or she next wished to consider. Each analyst continued in this way until the point at which he or she felt ready to make a "best buy" recommendation. This, too, was indicated via the light pen.

A nearly identical description was provided in 1985 in the inaugural issue of Computers in Human Behavior (Jacoby, Kuss et al., pp. 101-102). These procedures were again described in a 1987 Journal of Experimental Social Psychology article (Jacoby, Jaccard et al., pp. 150-151, 160). Although not described there in any great detail, a fourth paper based on the same procedures as the JAP and CHB papers (Jacoby, et al. 1986) appeared in Advances in Consumer Research. The three articles published in recognized peer review journals all confirm that others not only developed and used, but were the first to publish articles using a "computer- controlled pointing device" and set of procedures offering "a number of flexible graphics and process tracing techniques" for studying information acquisition. However, even had they not come across any of these articles, as the factors described below indicate, one of the coBauthors had considerable reason to know about our procedures and developments. Hence, there was no justification for coBauthoring a paper claiming to be the first to develop and use a "computer-controlled pointing device" and set of procedures offering "a number of flexible graphics and process tracing techniques" for studying information acquisition.

Based upon the numerous experiences I've had conducting deceptive advertising surveys submitted as evidence in litigated matters, I can assure you that if we applied the same procedures in this instance as are routinely used to assess deceptive advertising (e.g., showing the Mouselab passages noted above or, for that matter, the entire paper to a randomly selected group of scholars from related social science and/or management disciplines and then asking them questions to learn the meanings and inferences they extracted from exposure to this paper), we would find that regardless of whether it was the authors' intent to confine their claim to the mouse and nothing else, "a not insubstantial proportion"Cat least 15% to 20% and probably more than that [The FTC has determined that ads were deceptive when as few as 9% have been misled. Some examples are: 13% (in Elliott Knitwear Inc.59FTC893; 1961); 14% (in Benrus Watch Co. 64FTC1018, 1032; 1964); 10%-15% (in Firestone Tire & Rubbery, FTC 481 F.2d 246, 249; 6th Circuit; 1973); 9%-10% (in ITT Continental Baking Co. 83 FTC 865; 1973); and 14% (in Bristol Myers et al. 85 FTC 688; 1975). Based upon the dozens of deceptive advertising cases in U.S. District Courts in which I've been involved, I can safely say that the Federal courts use essentially the same criterion level, i.e., levels of at least 15% to 20% are usually sufficient for a court to reach a finding of deception.] would come away believing either that: (1) the authors of the Mouselab paper were the first to develop and use computers, in contrast to "simple information boards," to study consumer information acquisition, and/or (2) they were the first to use a "computer-controlled pointing device" and set of procedures offering "a number of flexible graphics and process tracing techniques," and/or (3) that no other similar "computer-controlled pointing device" or procedures offering "a number of flexible graphics and process tracing techniques" had previously been described in the literature.

Prompted by matters to be described below (in the section entitled "Ethical [Mis-?]Conduct by ACR Executive Committees"), I wrote to the senior author of this paper explaining my beliefs and requesting an explanation. This led to an exchange of correspondence which eventually culminated in a face-to-face meeting. My recollection is that the following points surfaced during these exchanges. Both the Jacoby and Payne teams seem to have developed computer IDBs at approximately the same time, circa 1975-76. However, articles describing the Jacoby team's use of an advanced system equivalent to the Mouselab appeared years before the Payne team's published descriptions and, to the extent the authors knew about them, should have been noted in that section of the Mouselab paper that promised to compare the Mouselab to other comparable procedures. As doing otherwise would reflect instances of "insufficient or misleading reporting" and "inappropriate citation" (Adler, 1991), future work by the Mouselab authors would not lay claim to being the first or only such procedure and, as necessary, would include appropriate citations.

It is important to emphasize that the issue is not that knowledge of the Jacoby team's efforts assisted the JohnsonB Payne team in any way to develop or refine the Mouselab. There is nothing that gives me reason to believe, nor should there be anything in what I have written that gives anyone else reason to believe, that the Mouselab procedures were not developed totally and completely independently of anything that my colleagues and I had developed and done. Rather, the issue is that one of the four authors knew or had exceptionally good reasons to know about the Jacoby team's related developments; hence, this person should never have coBauthored a paper which claimed that the procedures being described therein were unique and without precedent.

Specifically, it should be obvious that I thought highly enough of Jim Bettman to (a) invite him to Purdue in 1975 where he gave a colloquium to the psychology faculty on his work, (b) to, at that time, show him the IDBs I had developed and was using in my research and (c) to share my early data with him (see Bettman and Jacoby, 1976). At the 1976 and 1977 ACR conferences, I also shared with him information regarding our computerBIDB developments which, for its time, was informaiton I believe was noteworthy for those working in this area.

Jim Bettman was also a member of the six person 1979 National Science Foundation Advisory Panel connected with a $353,000 grant (NSF PRA 79B20585) awarded to Jim Jaccard and me for the purpose of studying consumer information accessing with respect to technologically complex products. Like others on the panel, in 1979, Jim was sent a copy of the full proposal for his comments and reactions. That proposal described the new procedures and equipment we would be using BB procedures that, unknown to me and apparently also to them, were in virtually every essential respect equivalent to that being independently developed by the Mouselab team (specifically, Johnson and Payne).

Finally, the 1985 article that appeared in Computers and Human Behavior, as well as the empirical protion of the 1987 article that appeared in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, had initially been submitted to the Journal of Consumer Research in midB1984. While I have no idea which members of the 1984 Editorial Board served as reviewers, it must have been individuals with expertise in the information processing realm. Regardless, in his capacity as JCR's coB editor at the time, Jim sent me a November 16, 1984 rejection letter which indicated he had read my manuscript (which detailed my development of "computer graphics to display information which is accessed using a computerBbased pointing device" and how I was using these procedures to study security analyst decision making) and the 16 pages of reviewer comments. As the reviewer comments clearly indicate, the computer procedures were described in considerable detail. Reviewer B even wrote: "Cut Back! Who cares what type of microcomputer it was stored on?"

In other words, there are several strong reasons underlying my belief that, by 1986, when Jim Bettman became a coBauthor on the Mouselab paper, he either knew or should have known about the Jacoby team's developments. [Following a conversation I had with Jim Bettman and Eric Johnson on the morning of October 23, 1994, the day after this Address was delivered, I revied the Address to further clarify the bases for my views on this matter. I invited them to comment upon these revisions and I also offered to mail, at my expense, a copy of this revised section on Case 3, along with a set of any contrasting comments that they might prepare, to all those on ACR's list of conference attendees. They declined to accept either of these invitations and indicated the might consider providing their viewson this matter in another form.] The fact that it was "only a working paper" did not prevent its authors from citing and widely disseminating it so that the information contained therein could influence the thinking and writing of others.

Case 4: Unintended Plagiarism: Next is a case of actual plagiarism, though I suspect the authors were well- intentioned and never realized it as such. Webster's "New Collegiate Dictionary" (1977, p. 877) defines "plagiarize" as "to pass off the ideas ... of another as one's own," and to "present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source." Now consider the following.

Not satisfied with what I found in the texts of the time, in 1968 I began developing a definition of consumer behavior which I then presented in a working paper devoted to the subject (Jacoby, 1969a) and in a talk delivered at the 1969 American Psychological Association's annual convention. I spent the next five years fleshing out the definition and its implications before proposing it in my 1974 Presidential Address to APA's Division of Consumer Psychology (Jacoby, 1975) and, again, in my 1975 Presidential Address to ACR (Jacoby 1976a). This definition achieved wider dissemination through my chapters in the Annual Review of Psychology, and the Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Jacoby, 1976b,c). In other words, by the end of 1976, I had invested an appreciable amount of intellectual effort to develop this definition, craft the particular language used to describe my thoughts, and to develop and articulate the ideas in the several pages that accompanied and explained the components of this definition. Without the accompanying elaboration, the basic definition was as follows: "Consumer behavior is the ...

acquisition, consumption, and disposition of goods, services, time and ideas by decision making units (e.g., individuals, families, firms, etc.)" (Jacoby, 1975a, p. 1).

Comparing this definition to those in the texts of that era, one can readily see that this synthesis represented a unique and substantially more comprehensive definition of consumer behavior than any proposed to that point in time.

Now consider the following from a book published two years later. In the Preface to the book, and with no quotation marks or any attribution to my prior work, the editors define "consumer and industrial buying behavior" as the ...

acquisition, consumption, and disposition of goods, services, time and ideas by decision making units or buying centers (Woodside, Sheth, and Bennett 1977, p. ix). [For any who think a string of 14 words is trivial, consider that a computer program used in the bio-medical sciences for detecting fraud works on strings of 30 characters, and data obtained from the application of this program have been successfully used in prosecuting cases of plagiarism. (See Hilts, 1992).

Upon not seeing any quotation marks or attribution to some other source, readers not aware of the original source of these ideas would likely believe this definition was created by the book's editors. Presuming they are themselves ethical scholars, they would then begin attributing this definition to these editors in their own writings.

Let me note that these authors (Woodside, Sheth and Bennett) were kind enough to use and correctly cite some of my other ideas on this very same page and, had they recognized what they were doing, I firmly believe they would have used quotation marks or made some other appropriate attribution. However, regardless of how innocent the deed or well-intentioned the imitation, I suspect most in this audience would have felt similarly unhappy to have their hard work made to appear as if it were the work of others. According to the long-standing canons of scholarly ethics, as the one who had devoted the time and intellectual effort to developing this definition, I deserved to be accorded the recognition for this, not have it made to appear that it was the work of others.

I'll be describing one more example of scholarly misconduct where, in my view, a series of eight letters prior to its occurrence made the plagiarism deliberate and deceitful. However, since my decision to report this case (Case 7) comes only as a consequence of other events, its description is being delayed until after these other events can themselves be described.

I'm sure many here can attest that the few examples of misconduct I've described are by no means isolated examples within our discipline. My purpose, however, is not to focus on these individuals or their actions. Rather, it is to focus on ACR itself. To paraphrase the Bard, "Somthing is rotten in ACR" and if we fail to correct the problem, I am certain that ACR will come to be viewed as a rogue organization by other social scientists.


One might think that, regardless of how they might behave or misbehave as individuals, when those at ACR whom we honor and trust with elected office come together to discharge their official duties, one could expect there would be no such misconduct. Well I'm sorry to have to disabuse you of this fairy tale, "knights in white armor" wish-it-were-soBbutBit's-not, notion. As I show below, ACR Executive Committees have accepted and acted on the basis of slander, ACR Presidents have used disrespect as official ACR policy, and both have compounded and perpetuated injustice in an errant attempt to "save face." None of these behaviors are anything that those who engaged in these actions would appreciate experiencing themselves.

The ACR Fellow Award:

Consider the ACR Fellow Award. Though up to three such awards can be made in any one year, including the trio of Belk, Holbrook and Jacoby, in the fifteen years since its inception, the various Executive Committees have elected 16 Fellows, an average of slightly more than one per year. In founding the Award, the minutes of the 1978 ACR Executive Committee state that the Award is to be given for "significant impact on scholarly work in consumer behavior." [If anything was ever voted on and approved by the membership, it was this language. More recently, the Calls for Nominations have omitted the "significant impact on scholarly work" phrase and instead stated that the Fellow Award is to be given for "a long period of productivity and contribution." If you will, please ponder for a moment the phrase "a long period of productivity and contribution." Just what does this mean or encompass? I return to this question anon.] This raises two questions: What constitutes "scholarly work?" How do you gauge "impact?"

Assessing a scholar's contribution is by no means an easy task and there exist varying approaches for doing so. Because it is the one traditionally used in faculty promotion and tenure meetings, the approach we are all familiar with is to consider the number and type of publications a person has and where these have appeared. There are reasonably well-known pecking orders: for example, publishing work in a discipline's rigorously reviewed vanguard journals is accorded the highest esteem and considered to reflect the highest level of scholarly contribution; things like editing books are considered of lesser value. However, while the traditional approach may provide some idea of the extent of a scholar's contribution, it does not tell you anything about the impact of that body of work, specifically, whether these contributions have influenced anyone else in the field or beyondBB which, after all, is how knowledge in any scientific discipline advances.

Publications do not necessarily translate into impact. For example, approximately half of all articles published in the physical and biological science's most rigorous journals during the five year period from 1981 through 1985 were never cited in the five years after their publication (see Cote et al. 1991, p. 402). From this it seems reasonable to deduce that these articles had little, if any, impact. Scientific contribution is not about publications; it's about in fluencing thought and advancing the field.

With the above serving as background, let me make some highly immodest observations, the reason for which will soon become obvious. Consider, first, the Journal of Consumer Research, for the past twenty years, the journal regarded as the most rigorous and prestigious in our field and the only one ACR sponsors. According to Hoffman and Holbrook (1993), at the end of its first fifteen years, I was the most cited researcher by the 41 other most published authors in JCR. (Examination will reveal this was also true in 1979 and again in 1984, after JCR's first five and first ten years of existence.) As testimony to the good company I'm in, after fifteen years, the second and third most cited contributors were Morris Holbrook and Russ Belk, respectively.

Since many articles on consumer behavior are published in the Journal of Marketing and Journal of Marketing Research, some might ask: "What happens when these other primary sources are considered?" According to Cote, Leong & Cote (1990), based on citations to articles published in JCR, JM and JMR during the twenty year period from 1966 through 1986, I am the second-most cited person across the more than 1400 journals that comprise the Social Science Citation Index. Only Paul Green, someone generally viewed as being a statistician and methodologist more than a consumer researcher, ranked higher (thereby effectively making me the most frequently cited consumer reseacher during this twenty year period). Again, both Morris and Russ are not far behind (see Appendix B). [Like any form of measurement, impact assessment via citation frequencies is not perfect. However, as it more closely reflects the ultimate criterion of interest for a scholar (namely, what has been the impact of his work on scholarly contributions to the discipline?), it would seem to be a least as good an indicant of a scholar's contribution over time than simply noting the number of publications that a person has had. In my opinion, aside from being as comfortable as an old shoe, the reason why many acaemic departments in business schools continue to rely on the number and type of publications and choose to not augment this traditional approach with a concurrent assessment of impact is that (a) the latter is relatively new, (b) the latter requires more effort than simply looking at a vita or writing others for "outside letters," and (c) while impact usually requires a period of years to be evidenced, given the "up or out" fast track the promotion and tenure committees generally must operate on, there is little time for impact to be manifested. Having said this, it is interesting to note that many more academic departments in the physical, biological and behavioral sciences rely on citation counts as compared to academic departments in business schools.]

Of course, knowing that, as compared to articles in other disciplines, those in marketing have a more rapid "death rate" (Goldman, 1979), those with a "what have you done for me lately?" perspective would point out that high cumulative citation rates after 15 years may reflect many early citations which have begun to wane in later years. Accordingly, consider the recently published Handbook of Consumer Behavior (Robertson and Kassarjian, 1991). This compendium is promoted as representing "a current account of what is known about consumer behavior" (p. vii). As its editors write, the 16 "chapters represent the conceptual underpinnings of the consumer behavior discipline as it currently exists" (p. vii). Presumably, the greater the number of chapters that cite a person's work, the broader and more lasting has been that person's contribution to and impact upon the field. Once again, the trio of Holbrook, Belk and Jacoby rank right up there; the only ACR Fellow to have his work cited in more chapters is Jim Bettman.

Some might ask: What about contributions to ACR in particular? Consider what the editors of the Index covering the first ten years of ACR Proceedings wrote: "We began to wonder who, in fact, are the greatest contributors to the ACR Proceedings. Counting all listings in this index ... the clear winner was Jack Jacoby. He had published 22 separate entries..." (Kassarjian and Orsini 1980, iii). Next came Rich Lutz, Jerry Olson and Jag Sheth, each with 12 entries. [One of my 22 entries was my ACR Presidential Address (Jacoby 1976a) which, if I'm not mistaken, is still the only ACR Presidential Address to subsequently undergo peer review and then be published in one of our leading journals. As Keith Hunt later wrote in an ACR Newsletter, by subsequently garnering the American Marketing Association's "Maynard Award" for being judged the best contribution to marketing theory published in the Journal of Marketing in 1978, this address brough kudos to ACR.] With six additional entries in the Index compiled to cover the subsequent five years (see Curren et al., 1984), my 10 contribution "lead" over all other contributors widened. In other words, at the end of ACR's critical, formative first 15 years, based upon the record established of contributions made specifically at ACR conferences and published in ACR's Proceedings, no other ACR member had contributed as much as had I. [Hindsight being what it is, I now recognize that sending good material to ACR (before having tried top-notch journals) was not a good idea, as it has led to oblivion for much of that work. Regardless of the uniqueness or quality of such material, scholars who publish in journals often don't consider it worthwhile reviewing what has appeared in ACR Proceedings. As but a few examples: In reviewing Multi-Method Multi-Trait matrices in consumer research, Bagozzi and Yi (1991, p. 427) write: "Despite the importance of construct validation, the MMMT design has been used infrequently in consumer research. Only a few studies using the MMMT procedure could be found in [the first 17 years of] JCR....Also, very few related consumer research studies could be found in the JMR over its 26 years." Perhaps thinking it unlikely there would be any such piece in the ACR Proceedings, these authors overlook the detailed account of two such studies in ACR's Third Annual Conference Proceedings (Jacoby, 1972). In similar fashion, Rentz (1987, p. 19; and Peter, 1979, before him) contend that "generalizability theory has largely been overlooked in marketing." Yet both overlook a generalizability study presented at ACR's 1977 conference and then published in our Proceedings (Jacoby et al. 1978). In fairness to Peter, his review included only JMR (for the years 1972-1976), JCR (1975-1977), JM (1974-1976), and AMA Proceedings (1974-1976) and the ACR Proceedings (1974-1976). My point? Simply that, even 10 years after it appeared as the earliest series of a "multifaceted generalizability approach" (Peter, 1979, p.12) in the consumer literature, it was still relatively unique. Making Jacoby et al. (1978) an ACR Proceedings contribution reflected a lack of "publishing strategy wisdom" on my part. Probably the greatest lack of good judgment in this regard came in making Jacoby, Chestnut, Weigl and Fisher (1976) and ACR Proceedings contribution. I had mistakenly assumed that there was little need to submit to a journal what, for its time, was a groundbreaking paper describing the Information Display Board research my collaborators and I were doing, as colleagues recognizing that it could certainly have been published in JCR or JMR would cite it when appropriate. Since the Behavioral Process approach had already been presented in an article in JCR (Berning and Jacoby, 1974) and also in a special issue of Communication Research devoted to consumer research (Jacoby, 1975b), I felt "being first" had already established and there was no need to send the Jacoby, Chestnut el al. paper to a journal. Instead, to go along with my ACR presidential Address that year, I decided it would be nice to present this research at the 1975 ACR Conference. As they say, the rest is history. Others have apparently failed to understand that, except for its having been translated from a horizontal to a vertical axis, the IDB was essentially the same procedure used by Berning and Jacoby (1974). Regardless, by contributing this to an ACR Proceedings rather than sending it to a journal, I opened the door for others to begin crediting Payne (1976) or Bettman and Kakkar's (1977) modification of what I had shared with Bettman as having introduced this approach and procedure into the consumer literature. The bottom line implication may be that, despite what the annual Call for Papers says about sending your better work to ACR and having it published in the ACR Proceedings, don't, as that may be the fast track to oblivion.]

Given this record of "significant impact on scholarly work in consumer behavior," how come it took the unanimous recommendation of at least six different ACR Fellows Nominating Committees (and the corresponding rejection by five different ACR Executive Committees) dating back to 1981 for me to be elected a FellowCan award established for the sole purpose of honoring precisely such impact? Puzzling, isn't it, how someone could rank first in terms of being cited in JCR during the first 15 years of its existence, be the first ranked consumer researcher over a 20 year span in having the work he published in the field's three most prestigious journals cited in the 1400-plus representing the best of all the other social sciences, and rank first in the number of contributions to the ACR Proceedings during ACR's first 15 yearsCyet be repeatedly rejected for ACR Fellowship, an honor ostensibly bestowed for just such contributions.

Given spans of 15 and 20 years, it is not like these contributions could be considered a flash in the pan. Given that we are speaking about what have traditionally been recognized as the three most prestigious journals regularly publishing scholarly consumer research, it is not like these contributions were somehow mysteriously hidden from view. So how come it has taken this long for them to be recognized? What is the explanation? The answer has direct and significant implications for each and every one of you and especially for the credibility and integrity of this organization.

Case 5: When Petty Politics Became Accepting and Taking Official Action Based on Unsubstantiated Falsehoods: From 1981 through 1990, I know of at least three occasions when I was nominated for the ACR Fellows Award; I believe there were other occasions that I cannot document and probably yet others of which I am not aware. I was also nominated again in 1991, 1992, and 1993. [To substantiate a point made below, copies of Jerry Olson's 1991 and 1993 nomination letters are provided in Appendix C.] According to ACR's Rules of Procedure, being elected a Fellow requires that the Nominating Committee be unanimous in sending any candidate's name forward to the Executive Committee. This means that on each of the six (or more) times my name came before the Executive Committee, I had received the unanimous endorsement of the Nominating Committee; yet except for the last, on each previous occasion I was voted down. Since the only legitimate basis for granting or denying anyone this award revolves around that candidate's body of scholarly contributions and the impact these have had on the field, and on nothing else, and given my above-documented contributions to the discipline generally and this organization in particular, I was puzzled by these repeated rejections. "Petty politics" I told myself.

The longer I was denied election to ACR Fellow, the more it began to hurt, the more I felt alienated from and by this organization, and the more I felt the need to understand what was going on. During the 80s, I rationalized that, outspoken as I tend to be, I must have said or done something that antagonized one or more of those voting. However, since (except for Keith Hunt) the composition of the Executive Committee changes over the years, I eventually discounted this hypothesis. [To infer from this that Keith was responsible is equivalent to saying that, since the same man got drunk on scotch and water one night, bourbon and water the next night, and vodka and water the third night, drinking water causes drunkenness.] It was clear that something beyond petty politics was involved.

After the 1991 Fellows Nominating Committee's unanimous recommendation was rejected for at least the third time in a decade (and Jerry Olson's "Don't sweat it Jack; it's only a matter of time" became less comforting), I finally became curious enough to see if I could learn what was going on. First I called the Chairman of the 1991 Nomination Committee who told me that, though he and his committee were strongly positive in their nomination, he didn't have a vote on the 1991 Executive Committee and, though he was personally disturbed by what he observed, he couldn't tell me what went on. So I called someone on the Executive Committee whom I hoped might be willing to share with me some small inklingCanything that would give me some insight.

This "source" turned out to be more forthcoming than I had ever expected. I was at first shocked, then angered, to hear that the reason I was being "blackballed" had absolutely nothing to do with my "body of contributions" (which, according to this source, all on the Executive Committee agreed merited the award). Rather, it had to do with what I interpret as illogical and malicious slander emanating from who knows where that, without any effort at verification, was apparently being condoned, accepted and used as the basis for a decision each time my nomination came before the Executive Committee. These allegations were that:

1.Some of my published research has been funded by contracts from industry. This research appears to have been "slanted," that is, used in a manner that "some see as supporting the interests of business clients at the possible expense of consumers."

2.At times, I have quarreled with colleagues. More seriously, this includes "quarreling over who should receive credit for academic achievements."

3.I consult, "make a lot of money" and live well. For some, this "consulting appears to interfere with [my] continuing to make contributions to the field."

I won't take the time here to address these allegations; my full reply to Numbers 1 and 3 are set forth in the redacted version of a 46 page letter provided here as Appendix D. As for quarreling with others, I think the Cases I've described provide some understanding of the kinds of scholarship that makes me "quarrelsome," and would give any scholar cause to become "quarrelsome."

Regardless, even if true, these allegations in no way undo my "body of contributions" or "the impact these have had on scholarly research within the field." Thus, they provide absolutely no legitimate basis for rejecting my nominationCat least not according to the official Minutes of the 1978 Executive Committee that established the award, nor according to anything else that has ever been formally stated and since become member-approved policy.

Whether you are being voted on for the ACR Fellow Award, being voted on for promotion or tenure, or anything else you value, please think of a committee that votes on whether you receive somthing the record strongly suggests you have earned. Would you appreciate this committee accepting and acting on the basis of malicious slander about you without first trying to obtain clarification from others in a position to know the particulars or, better yet, without giving you an opportunity to explain or reply? Would you appreciate being repeatedly denied an honor you had earned for reasons having nothing to do with the officially stated policy regarding the purpose for which that honor is to be accorded? Did the members of those early Executive Committees do unto another something they themselves would not want done unto them had the roles been reversed?

Case 6: Disrespect as Official ACR Policy: To stimulate some semblance of conscience and reason among the ACR governance, I began writing what became the earlier referred to 46 page singleBspaced letter addressing these allegations, portions of which are provided in Appendix D. To insure I was accurately describing what my source had told me, I sent that person successive drafts of the letter, each of which was followed up with an extended phone conversation. Satisfied that I was describing my source's account of the meeting accurately, on January 28, 1992, the final version of the letter (which also raised a number of important policy and governance questions for the Executive Committee to consider; see Appendix D, pages 38-39 and 43-44), was sent to all members of the 1991 Nominating Committee as well as to the ACR President. [Of all the Executive Committee members who voted on my nomination that year and then received a copy of my January 28, 1992 letter, only Kent Monroe, a gentleman as well as a scholar, called to apologize. Morris Holbrook, a member of the Nominating Committee, also sent me a very kind and empathic letter which included some of the data from his forthcoming article (Hoffman and Holbrook, 1993). Note, also, that shortly after my letter was distributed, I received a concerned call from my source asking if I had threatened or initiated a suit against ACR for slander. As I told my source, that course of action had never entered my mind. When I asked from where did this new rumor come, the source replied that another Executive Committee member had called cautioning my source to keep quiet about the Executive Committee's deliberations because of a concern that they might be sued. Presumably others onthe Executive Committee received similar calls.] My January 29th cover letter to the ACR President (see Appendix D) contained several additional questions directed specifically to him, as follows:

In the event that the Executive Committee does not go along with the request that it re-establish an ethics committee then, as a dues-paying member of ACR in good standing, I'd appreciate answers to the following questions:

1. For what reason was ACR'S Professional Affairs Committee disbanded? How did it come to be disbanded? When did it happen (i.e., who was ACR's President at the time)?

2. Are ACR committees able to be disbanded without a vote of the general membership? If so, should this be so?

3. Given that we no longer have a Professional Affairs Committee charged with handling ethical disputes, is the full Executive Committee prepared to do so? If so, as I would like to have some issues considered, what are the procedures, rules and mechanisms for doing so?

I quess these questions must be either very tough or very inappropriate because, though I received a March 2nd letter acknowledging his receipt of my letters, I never received a return letter or so much as a phone call in answer to my questions (see Appendix D). After several months of non-response, I sent several follow-up letters; [Consider the following from my letter of May 16, 1992 (see Appendix D): "...This caused me to once again wonder why any ACR member should be in the dark regarding the criteria used for determining ACR Fellow status. Accordingly, please consider this letter to fall under the "press your concerns" rubric. Though I recognize that, without consulting the ACR Executive Committee, you are not yet in any position to answer the questions posed on pages 38-39 and 43-44 of my January 28th letter to the ACR Fellows Nominating Committee, I want to emphasize that I remain intensely interested in having these questions answered. I also think that, in one form or another, these answers should be communicated to the ACR membership at large." Also consider the following from my letter of September 3, 1992 (see Appendix D): "...my January 28th letter raises a number of questions regarding the meaning of the Fellow Award and the criteria used for bestowing this award. For the good of the organization, I believe it is important that these questions be discussed, answered and the information communicated to the membership at large. Like other dues-paying members in good standing, annually, I receive a form requesting that I fulfill a responsibility of ACR membership by submitting the names of worthwhile Fellow nominees. Heretofore, when considering whom I might nominate, I was under the impression that the Award was conferred for making contributions to ACR and to the discipline that advanced scholarly thought, research and practice. I was also of the belief that factors other than these were irrelevant. However, upon learning what kind of issues became the focal point of discussion at last year's meeting, it may be that I have been mistaken. Accordingly, I would like some clarification so that I can responsibly fulfill this obligation of membership. I suspect that I am not alone in this regard; there must be other ACR members who need and would appreciate such clarification as well...Just what are the objectives of and criteria used in bestowing the ACR Fellow award? I am open to the possibility that the award doesn't represent what I (and, I am sure, many others at ACR) think it does. But then, what does it represent?"] these yielded no response whatever. Recall that a cornerstone of ethics is the right that each of us has to be treated with dignity and respect (see Engel et al, 1993, p. 817). Was this ACR President "Doing unto others as he would have them do unto him?" I think not.

I ask you: How would you feel if, as a dues-paying member in good standing, you had written asking the ACR President legitimate questions regarding ACR's functioning that were of concern to you, yet never received a substantive reply? When I served as ACR President, it never would have occurred to me to be so impolite and disrespectful a representative of this organization as to ignore the letters of any dues-paying member, much less a founding member and past-PresidentCand when I hadn't received any answer to my questions by the time of ACR's 1992 Annual Conference in Vancouver, I told this outgoing ACR President so at that conference. Confirming what my source had told me eight months earlier (see Footnote 17), this past-President's reply amounted to: We don't want to talk to you about it and we especially don't want to put anything in writing because we're concerned you might sue. [Perhaps in an attempt to be kind, Andreasen also told me that, because they felt I had "so much more to contribute," the Executive Committee hoped I would become active again in ACR. Surprising, isn't it, how people engaged in the study of human (consumer) behavior seem not to understand one of the most fundamental set of concepts our texts tell us underlies most human behavior, namely conditioning and extinction. Kick someone in the stomach often enought and, instead of giving you "more," if he doesn't have to return to take more abuse, he won't.] To this very day, two years later, my questions about fundamental governing policies of ACR have yet to be answered.

Their unwillingness to answer my legitimate questions only fueled my frustration and anger. I also took their unfounded concern to mean that they had some inkling that, were I to sue, their behavior would necessarily be exposed for others to see and understand for what it was. Thus, even were I to mount and lose such a suit in court, the ACR Executive Committee had more to lose in ACR's court of public opinion.

These experiences made me realize several other things, paramount among these being that I was dealing with at least some members of the Executive Committee who, while intellectually sophisticated, apparently also happened to be ethically deficient. Being able to hide behind veils of secrecy, their actions not subject to independent review, they seemed able to get away with doing virtually anythingCincluding accepting and acting on slanderous charges that amounted to character assassination. Rather than conjure up images of knights draped in white robes acting as defenders of the faith (as I'm sure many of us are inclined to view our elected officials), I began seeing their actions as more akin to that of the white knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Just like the KKK, in trampling on the rights of those with little or no recourse to defend themselves, they had apparently convinced themselves that the rumors and slander they themselves were hearing and accepting represented "truth" and thus justified their actions. [This seems analogous to Tosenblatt's (1994) description of the psychological mechanisms tobacco executives use in order "to live with themselves" and not be concerned that what they do causes serious harm to others. Rosenblatt (1994) contends they must be in denial. "to be in denial implies that one may not be held accountable, in psychological terms, for one's actions." "Individually, they...create their own moral universe of explanations and justifications" (p. 36).]

Case 7: Plagiarism, Blatant and Deceitful: My frustration gave way to anger, then to resolve, then to action. The most immediate action I took brings me to describing the case I referred to earlier of what I believe was deliberate and deceitful plagiarism that occurred more than twenty years ago which has helped this person reap many tangible rewards, including being elected an ACR President and ACR Fellow. Having not done so for more than twenty years, it could not be more obvious that I never intended, nor would now be making this matter public knowledge had it not been for what I learned was being said about me behind closed doors at ACR Executive Committee meetings. But with ACR having disbanded its only mechanism for independent review and my having no other place to go to get a fair hearing on Executive Committee conduct, I felt enough was enough. If they were going to listen to and base their official decisions on unfounded slander about me behind closed doors, yet not even grant me, a dues-paying member, the respect of answering my legitimate questions regarding how they were governing this organization, then I was going to confront them with a case that, in my opinion, amounted to flagrant and deceitful plagiarism and see what, if anything, they would do about it. [Even then, before bringing this matter to the Executive Committee, via a series of letters during March 1992, I leaned over backward to first give this person an opportunity to forestall any action by making amends. Though I proposed some ways in which this might be accomplished to our mutual satisfaction, I gave him every opportunity to suggest others. As he was unwilling to may any amends, I reluctantly brought the matter to the ACR Executive Committee for action. Recognize that there might not have been any reason to make this matter public had I been able to have this matter heard and resolved by an ACR Ethics Committee.] Through this I hoped they would see the problem in terms of the broader issues involved and, as a consequence, move ACR in a direction that would culminate in the re- establishment of an ACR Ethics Committee.

Briefly, under the pretense of coBauthoring a paper, a former ACR President obtained copies of my unpublished working papers and related notes. Only after receiving these materials (but never providing me with copies of his own, as we had agreed), did he inform me he was also thinking of preparing a "light weight piece of 10B12 manuscript pages" for submission to "a second rate journal" as a soleBauthored paper. That soBcalled light weight piece was then published not in any "second rate journal," but in the most prestigious journal in the field at that time, the Journal of Marketing Research (Kassarjian, 1971). Further, despite having written that his behavior with respect to my unpublished ideas and writings would be as pure as the driven snow (for example: "Let me assure you that I am quite scrupulous about plagerizing" [sic]; and my paper would "avoid including any of the concepts you and I will introduce later" in our coB authored piece), and without my knowledge or permission, he had lifted and used ideas, phrases, and complete sentences from my unpublished working papers. Some of my ideas and language appeared in his article without quotation marks or any attribution to indicate its source (namely, Jacoby 1969a, 1969b). As an example, compare the following:

Statistical techniques...are applied and anything that turns up looking halfway interesting furnishes the basis for the discussion section. (Jacoby, 1969b)

Statistical techniques are applied and anything that turns up looking halfway interesting furnishes the basis for the discussion section. (Kassarjian, 1971, p. 416)

Aside from what I believe amounts to irrefutable evidence of duplicity in the eight letters exchanged (e.g., the frequent promise that none of my ideas or writings would be used), what makes the actual lifting of concepts and words difficult for the casual reader to detect is the fact that Jacoby is sometimes cited. However, as the APA Code of Ethics (1992, p. 1609) complete standard regarding plagiarism states: "Psychologists do not present substantial portions or elements of another's work or data as their own, even if the other work or data source is cited occasionally." [One cannot reach an informed judgement based on the brief account provided here. In addition to the working papers, the file consists of eight letters exchanged between Kassarjian and Jacoby from June 16 to December 15, 1970, 23 pages of correspondence between this author and Kassarjian during the month of March 1992, and the 15 pages (complaint plus cover letter) sent to Alan Andreasen, the ACR President, on March 30, 1993.]

As it would require going through the entire 12-page March 30, 1992, complaint and related documents filed with the Executive Committee for me to give you a full appreciation of the apparent perfidy and deceitfulness involved in what I believe is this person's plagiarism, I will spare you that here. Suffice it to say that I believe the evidence is abundant and irrefutable that this plagiarism was both deliberate and deceitful. That person's own letters suggest that, at the time he did so, he knew he was plagiarizing. ["Finally, concerning our paper on personality, I have run into a dreadful snag on this that may have some ethical overtones. I got myself into a corner." From Kassarjian's letter to Jacoby of November 17, 1970.] After the fact, he tried to excuse his behavior by telling me he was compelled to do so because he felt he needed one more sole-authored refereed publication to insure his promotion to full professor. [It is interesting to contrast the manner in which my material is treated by Kassarjian (1971) with the ethical way in which the exact same unpublished material was treated by Engel, Kollat and Blackwell (1973, p. 652).] [If you can get away with it once, why not twice? Compare the following two sets of passages. In each case, the first passage is the original from Holsti, the second passage from Kassarjian. Though the first passage from Kassarjian (1977) refers to Holsti, it uses no quotation marks, leaving the reader to imply that it was Kassarjian who originated the thoughts and crafted the language he was reading. The second passage from Kassarjian (1977) makes no mention whatever of Holsti (1968).

Set 1:

The sentence "These clandestine Soviet actions on the imprisoned island of Cuba will not be tolerated by the American people," contains assertions about three nations. The coder must be able to reduce this sentence into its component themes before they may be place in proper categories. (Holsti, 1968, p. 647).

...the sentence "These clandestine Soviet actions on the imprisoned island of Cuba will not be tolerated by the American people," contains assertions about three nations. The coder must be able to reduce this sentence into its component themes before they may be placed in proper categories (Holsti, 1968). (Kassarjian, 1977, p. 12).

Set 2:

The core of each General Inquirer system of content analysis is a dictionary in which each entry word is defined with one or more "tags" representing categories in the investigator's theory. (Holsti, 1968, p. 665)

The core of each General Inquirer System of content analysis is a dictionary in which each entry word is defined with one or more "tags" representing categories as ordinarily used in content analysis. (Kassarjian, 1977, p.15)

Even when one acknowledges the original source by what, at best, is an ambiguous reference, according t any credo of scholarship, re-stating 47 words in a row without placing quotation marks around that passage constitutes plagiarism. Using 26 words in a row without quotation marks or any acknowledgment of the original source constitutes plagiarism. (For any who think strings of 47 and 26 words are trivial, consider that a computer program used in the bio-medical sciences for detecting fraud works on strings of 30 characters each, and that data obtained from the application of this program have been successfully used in several court cases of plagiarism. See Hilts, 1992). Think of what we teach and expect from our students, much less our scholars. Such "scholarship" is, in my opinion, sham scholarship amounting to fraud, something for which I have flunked students out of class and out of school. Those taking the time to compare Kassarjian (1977) with Holsti (1968) will find numerous other striking similarities (in phrases, sections, section headings), confirming that what I firmly believe was Kassarjian's pilfering of Jacoby's intellectual property was not an isolated instance. I sometimes think I bear some responsibility for this pilfering of Holsti's words, as had I blown the whistle on Kassarjian's earlier pilfering of Jacoby, this 1977 plagiarism of Holsti might never have happened.]

This article (Kassarjian, 1971) went on to become one of the most highly cited and reprinted classics in our field. Of the 2,700 substantive articles published in JM, JMR and JCR for the years 1965-1986, this article was among the 35 articles to be "most cited" in all the other 1400 (ca.) journals comprising the social science literature (Cote et al., 1990). Sometimes, it is cited specifically for the ideas I believe were purloined from my working paper. As we all know: "Plagiarism, the appropriation of another author's words or ideas, is a much despised crime in the academic world, where intellectual property is the basis for advancement" (Hilts, 1992, p. C1). As explained in my March 30, 1992 complaint to the ACR Executive Committee, though he profited from using my words and ideas (i.e., my intellectual property), by publishing my unpublished material, he effectively prevented me from reaping any benefit from my own scholarship. [Within 48 hours after delivering this Address, a number of people mentioned that, without access to the original correspondence between Jacoby and Kassarjian and the working papers in question, it is difficult to render a fully informed judgment. After all, the portions quoted here may have been taken out of context. Accordingly, copies of these material are available to ACR members who request them, in writing from the author.]

On August 31, 1992, I received ACR's official reply (see Appendix E) stating: "The Board of Directors of the Association for Consumer Research has given considerable thought" to the matter and "concluded it would be both inappropriate and undesirable for the Association of Consumer Research to formally intervene in this case." Of the five reasons given for the Board's decision, two merit special note:

"2. As of this date, ACR has not committed itself to serving in any fashion as a watchdog over the ethical behavior of individuals undertaking `consumer research' whether ACR members or not....

3. ACR has not adopted any standards for any type of ethical behavior in consumer research and/or publication. Thus, evaluation of the merits in this case would be impossible absent preordained standards."

As I said earlier, with no rules to guide our conduct and no penalties for misbehavior, this apparently means that "anything, including plagiarism, goes at ACR." Further, the organization that claims to be the legitimate voice of scholarly consumer research, by definition and the choice of its governance, is essentially an ethically lawless organization that won't do anything about plagiarism or other instances of scholarly misconduct by its members. Is that what we want? Like many others, if I can't trust a "scholar" to behave ethically and abide by time-honored, well-understood and widely accepted canons of scholarly ethics, then I can't trust anything that person has published and I begin to have serious doubts about trusting the discipline that tolerates such behavior and publishes such work.

"In addition to the specialized knowledge and techniques that distinguish them, academic disciplines have distinctive culturesCthat is, particular beliefs, norms, values, and patterns of work and interpersonal interaction that affect the behavior within the discipline" (Swazey, et al. 1993, p. 551). What kind of "distinctive culture" do we have? What kind of "distinctive culture" do we want to be known as having? If we continue to cling to our misguided, nul-policy of "anything goes," how do you think ACR will come to be viewed by the other social sciences and the scholarly organizations that represent them? I submit that the credibility and reputation of any disciplinary organization that tolerates such behavior will be as substantial as the proverbial grains of sand running through our fingers.

I wrote back telling this ACR President that, under the circumstances, I understood the Board's unwillingness to rule on the matter (letter of September 9, 1992; Appendix E). However, while I don't consider their failure to render a decision in this matter unethical, there is still something about their behavior that smacks of moral cowardice, especially from a President who, in his "President's Column" in ACR's Newsletter, had just a few months earlier written: "ACR is an agency for advancing an academic discipline... through collective attention to ... research issues and the preservation of standards in the field" (Andreasen, 1992, p. 3, bolding supplied).

Regardless, I felt that I had accomplished my objective. As stated in my September 9th letter, this was to: "ask the Board to ponder the following: Why does it deem it inappropriate to hear and decide upon allegations of misconduct in this context, yet is not similarly reluctant to consider undocumented and slanderous allegations made during its deliberations in regard to ACR Fellow nominees? Stated somewhat differently, if the Board is unwilling to hear evidence when documents are produced and all parties to a dispute are available for questioning, then how does it justify giving rumor and half-truths any credence whatsoever when the person who is the object of the allegations isn't given an opportunity to address these allegations? Fairness suggests one can't have it both ways. The same standards should apply."

Case 8: Compounding Injustice: Saving Face or Eventual Disgrace?: A few weeks later, the 1992 Executive Committee had the opportunity to redeem prior injustices. Instead, it behaved in the tradition of its predecessors. Apparently thinking more of appearances rather than acting forthrightly to rectify a wrong, they heaped insult upon injustice, thereby, in my opinion, disgracing themselves and the organization they represented. In this respect, the academicians who were behaving as this organization's "executives" exhibited behavior that was no different from what sometimes happens in industry and government.

Specifically, beyond the January 28, 1992 letter (see Appendix E) and my subsequent attempt to redress the old wrong (Case 7, including the aforementioned letter of September 9, 1992, see Appendix E), my only other reaction to the events that transpired at ACR's 1991 Executive Committee meeting was to ask Jerry Olson to re-submit my name to the 1992 Fellows Nominating Committee. I naively hoped that my January 28th and September 9th letters would help those on the incoming 1992 Executive Committee recognize that how my nomination had been treated in the past amounted to a miscarriage of justice. Moreover, to insure that they had evidence enabling them to render an informed judgment on whether my contributions had exerted a "significant impact on scholarly work in consumer behavior," I made certain that they knew of the findings reported in Cote et al. (1990) and Hoffman and Holbrook (1993). Surely, I thought, what more evidence could they want of a long period of sustained contribution to, and impact upon, scholarly research in this discipline? Given that up to three fellows could be elected each year and feeling there could no longer be any rational, logically defensible argument that would stand in the way, I went to the October 1992 Vancouver conference reasonably confident that the 1992 Executive Committee would finally elect me a Fellow.

Perhaps you can imagine how I felt when Bill Wells, as Chairman of the 1992 Fellows Nominating Committee, stood up to announce that the Executive Committee had elected only one Fellow that yearCRick Bagozzi. Of course Rick deserved being elected a Fellow! [In announcing Rick's election, above and beyond his meritorious accomplishments as a scholar, Bill stressed the Rich was "a role model." Wondering where I stood on this dimension, the first thought that crossed my mind was that, at that very moment, four of the top twenty marketing departments in the country were either chaired by my students (Jerry Olson at Penn State and Wayne Hoyer at Texas) or by students on whose Doctoral Committees I served (Don Lehmann at Columbia and Jim Ginter at Ohio State). Two of my students (Leon Kaplan and George Szybillo) had been elected President of the American Psychological Association's Division of Consumer Psychology (Division 23; another (Jerry Olson) had been elected President of ACR.] But as the Executive Committee could elect up to three Fellows each year, upon hearing that, even after the events of the previous year and the evidence of scholarly impact in their possession, my time had still not come, I began to feel it never would. The hurt was deep and tears welled up in my eyes. Past- President Bob Pratt, sitting next to me, saw my reaction and leaned over to ask what was wrong. When I explained, he offered to see what, if anything, he could find out. He later called to tell me that, from what he could learn, the 1992 Executive Committee decided not to elect me a Fellow because doing so would imply they had been pressured, among other things, by my letters of January 28th and September 9th.

More than a century ago, the English statesman, William Gladstone, noted: "Justice delayed is justice denied" (Edwards, 1957, p. 326). I wonder if, in reaching their decision, the Executive Committee believed the "costs" they might incur in electing me a Fellow (i.e., "not wanting to feel or appear pressured" to act ethically) far outweighed the "costs" or injustice that was being done to me? [In contrast: "At its heart, the Golden Rule calls for moral and ethical reasoning to be based on the highest principle that the rights of others should be paramount to our own" (Engel, et al. 1993, p. 817).] I tend to doubt it. Rather than using their chance to right a wrong, the 1992 Executive Committee compounded it.

Once again, I had cause to wonder about the ethicsCthat is, the ability to discern right from wrong and act accordinglyC(or lack thereof) of an ACR Executive Committee. While I didn't appreciate either the slander condoned or behavior exhibited by earlier Executive Committees, perhaps these might have been excused as being a function of their not having relevant and reliable information. But, despite now undeniably having such information, by perpetuating the injustice, in my opinion, the 1992 Executive Committee disgraced both itself and the organization it represented. I was confident that these people had done unto another that which they would definitely not like done unto them and from that point onward lost all respect for those who were party to that action. [My January 28, 1992 letter noted: "Depending upon what happens as a consequence, there may come a need for wider dissemination of this information" (Appendix D, p. 42). I had hoped that, being put on notice, these ACR Officers would finally treat me fairly and with dignity. However, subsequent events (described above in Cases 6 and 8) showed these individuals unwilling to treat me with the same dignity and respect they would have wanted accorded to themselves. When, after being asked to cease unjust actions regarding an individual, the injustice persists, those involved need to understand that they may eventually be held accountable for such injustice. These people may now recognize that, in part, this address is a matter of an honorable person keeping his word. "Wider dissemination of this information," not a law suit, is what was promised and what is being delivered. Having said this, let me emphasize that the more important objective of this address is to focus on what I perceive to be the root problem at ACR that enables injustice and questionably ethical practices to flourish, namely, governance by cliquish in--groups coupled with the absence of a fully functioning ACR Code of Ethics and Ethics Committee.]

Later that afternoon, Bill Wells took me aside during a break to tell me that, though I hadn't been elected a Fellow that year, if I kept a low profile, didn't write any more letters and just "cooled it" for a year, while there were no guarantees, he felt very confident there was "at least a .9 probability" of my being elected a Fellow in 1993. I believe he was surprised when this angered rather than pleased me. Not only did I believe the award was long overdue and that the 1992 Executive Committee had just acted out of spite rather than any concern for "Doing unto others as they would have wanted done unto them," but as I told Bill, this meant that each time I looked into the mirror during that year, I would be seeing the face of a hypocrite who had quietly accepted injustice just so that he could reap a reward [An award that, in the hands of ACR's skilled alchemists was, in my opinion, being turned from gold into lead.] at the end of the tunnelCand I didn't think I could do that. While it was politically smart not to "rock the boat," to be elected a Fellow even partly because of such political acumen would only reinforce the fact that the award had indeed become "political."

When "Enough" became "Enough!!!": Octobers '92 through '94

I spent the next few days thinking long and hard about what Bill had said and even drafted a letter explaining to him how, if senior people were not willing to take a stand against ethical misconduct among ACR's constituents and the possible abuse of power being committed on ACR's behalf, the problem could get worse and ACR would deserve whatever unethical behavior it was gettingCbut then thought better of it and threw the letter in the trash. Instead, I decided that, while heeding Bill's advice, I would spend the year using a low-profile approach to try and expose the hypocrisy. At the end of that year, and regardless of whether or not it resulted in my ever being elected an ACR Fellow, I would initiate a high profile approach to try and help ACR's members understand that is was in their own vital self interest to take a stand against ethical misconduct by those within.

The ACR Newsletter as a Lid-lifting Device: An announcement by the ACR Newsletter editors at the 1992 conference gave me one way to be proactive in a low profile sort of way. Noting that, beyond the "News & Notes" kind of material, members were not submitting substantive items, the editors encouraged contributions from the members. Though I had doubts about whether they would publish what I had in mind, I did view their solicitation as an opportunity to begin lifting the lidCby publishing some data of which the Executive Committee was aware, but which were not in general circulation.

Though many must have thought my 1993 Newsletter piece on "`Scholarly impact' in consumer research: Evidence of convergent validity" (see Appendix F) was immodest, perhaps it will now be understood that my basic purpose in submitting this item was so that I could raise, then answer the question: "How does being among the most published and most cited JCR authors relate to receiving the ACR Fellows Award?" (p. 18). I was hoping that at least some would be shocked to learn that, for an award ostensibly being given for "significant impact on scholarly work in consumer behavior," the answer was "Hardly at all!". [Specifically, at the time the Newsletter note was written, only two of the twelve people to be elected an ACR Fellow were among Hoffman and Holbrook's empirically generated list of 42 most published and most cited JCR authors (Paul Green, who ranked 4th, and Jim Bettman, who ranked 6th).] Perhaps some will now appreciate that Peter Wright's (1994) reaction reflected neither a rejoinder nor self-aggrandizement, but the anguish of another soul who had made many substantial and significant contributions to this discipline and organization, only to be repeatedly passed over when it came to handing out the cookies.

Taking "Low Profile" to "No Profile": On the flight home, I thought of another way that, while heeding Bill's advice, would eventually expose the hypocrisy; it was to carry this "low profile" notion a step further than I'm sure he intended. Not only would I not write letters to any ACR officials, but (other than the aforementioned Newsletter piece) I was determined not to publish anything during that entire year. This way, if elected a Fellow in 1993, as did in fact happen, as my vita would reflect not a single new entry above and beyond that present the year before, the 1993 Executive Committee's own actions would be testimony to the fact that I just as well merited this honor in 1992. [Olson's 1991 and 1993 Nomination letters were virtually identical. Also recognize that the 1993 Executive Committee that finally approved my election consisted, for the most part, of the same people that had rejected my nomination in 1992. With absolutely no additional evidence of scholarly contribution or impact, why did these people vote for me in 1993?] Further, anyone who came to learn about what had transpired would be able to recognize that, when they had an opportunity to redress a long-standing wrong, more concerned with "saving face," those on the 1992 Executive Committee instead chose to bring shame to the organization by compounding the injustice. Having thought about it for two years now, placing myself in their shoes, I still cannot fathom a single defensible reason that any member of the 1992 Executive Committee could give that would excuse or justify the actions at that meeting. If there is one, I would love to hear it.

The Scholarly Literature on Ethics and Justice: This "low profile year" was also used to begin acquainting myself with the scholarly literature on ethics. Equally meaningful is the related body of writings on the topic of justice, defined as "the relationship of obligations and entitlements between the individual and the group" (Deutsch and Steil, 1988, p. 3). Two articles in particular provided me with an understanding of why I was feeling as frustrated, angry and depressed as I did over events at ACR; I recommend both (Deutsch and Steil, 1988; Leventhal et al. 1980) to you very highly. Restraining my enthusiasm to quote almost everything, please consider a few relevant items.

The first explains why, at this point, I happen to be more sensitive to these issues than most; basically, it is because I am someone who was affected by the injustices of the system. If and when your turn comes, you, too, are likely to become more sensitized to issues of ethics and justice.

[Unless directly affected,] An individual may often give little thought to questions of fairness.... Unless fairness is important to him, he won't bother to evaluate the fairness of distributions or procedures. (Leventhal et al. 1980, p. 198).

Now consider the following:

...violations of our conceptions of justice presents a twofold threat: It challenges and weakens the moral base of our community and it brings into question the evaluative framework that provides a foundation for our individual and social actions. (Deutsch and Steil, 1988, p. 4).

The sense of injustice can be elicited or intensified by the timing of distribution of a social good ....[as when] the honor is too long delayed in relation to the achievement (Deutsch and Steil, 1988, p. 6).

The victim suffers the loss of a desired outcome, a threat to self esteem, and possible derogation from peers. (Deutsch and Steil, 1988, p. 8).

I also obtained an understanding of what made the injustice so odious and insidiousCit was because it was all being accomplished behind closed doors under the guise of "following fair procedures."

...the appearance of fair procedures can mute the protest over unfair outcomes by masking the underlying unfairness. (Deutsch and Steil, 1988, p. 8)

Quasi-fair behavior is that which may superficially resemble fair behavior but which stems from motives unrelated to fairness. Quasi-fair behavior is motivated by pragmatic goals rather than moral concerns. Such behavior may seem to be motivated by a concern for fairness, but is actually tactical in nature and serves other ends. (Leventhal et al. 1980, p. 211-212).

A final quote explains why I found the 1992 Executive Committee's actions so reprehensible, why the conversation with Bill Wells hurt so much, and why I felt compelled to respond:

The experience of an injustice that is not acknowledged and responded to by one's fellow group members is apt to leave one feeling very alien and alienated from one's group; similarly, if one does not acknowledge and respond to an injustice one has experienced, one will be alienated from oneself (Deutsch and Steil, 1988, p. 4; bolding supplied).

This is probably nowhere as true as when applied to injustice that strikes at the core of one's reputation. I think it was Jerry Olson who, in 1991 or 1992, turned me on to a little book containing 511 suggestions on how to live a happy and rewarding life. Instruction 421: "Take care of your reputation. It's your most valuable asset" (Brown, 1991).

The Lesson Imparted by Dr. Rees: During this period I came across a very powerful and insightful article by Dr. Thomas D. Rees showing why it is important and just how one might go about protecting one's reputation. A New York surgeon whose distinguished career had spanned more than three decades and had earned him a very successful medical practice, Dr. Rees described how that practice, and he himself, were nearly destroyed by malicious, untrue rumors. In Dr. Rees' words:

My personal struggle with the effects of a malicious rumor gave me deep empathy for others who have had their lives marred by lies. I learned that rumors are indeed powerful weapons in the hands of those without conscience. I learned that such ruinous gossip must be dealt with vigorously, aggressively and immediately. [Waiting] until things blow over is a ruinous approach. Those who promote lies do not stop unless they are threatened with exposure and humiliation. (1993, p. 32)

Reading Dr. Rees' account of his experiences reinforced my resolve to begin exposing some of the unethical behavior and scholarly misconduct I've experienced. For me, the catharsis would come not from getting things off my chest, but from having these incidents help others to understand why it vital for ACR to become proactive in regard to safeguarding its reputation and that of the individuals who constitute its membership. Sad to say, but the cases mentioned above represent only the tip of my personal iceberg; I've heard enough stories from others to know that there are many other such icebergs floating in this same sea.

Re-forming and Reforming ACR: My experiences with the conduct of certain ACR members and especially ACR's governance also made it abundantly clear that when those who succeeded my Presidency disbanded ACR's Ethics (nee Professional Affairs) Committee, they had taken an exceedingly unwise action. Without such a committee, ACR lacks anything to serve the Safeguard and Appeals functions Leventhal et al. (1980) identify as being essential to the survival of any social system (see "Where does ACR go from here?" section below). The above experiences furthered my resolve to invest energies helping ACR members understand why, as a matter of their own self-interest, they had to consider re- establishing an ethics committee.

As an initial effort, I interested three other ACR past-Presidents (Holbrook, Olson and Wilkie) in joining me in a session on "Ethical issues in consumer research" for the 1993 ACR Conference. [One anonymouse reviewer justified his "reject" recommendation by writing: "I realize that politics may preclude this. But this strikes me as a 'bull' session by the 'old boys.'"] As part of my presentation, I took the liberty of conducting some exploratory research using the audience as respondents. Twelve types of behavior were described and, for each, respondents were asked to indicate (a) whether the behavior was ethical or not, and (b) whether it would be something appropriate for an ACR Ethics Committee to consider (questionnaire and data are available from the author).

Disregarding for the moment the fact that it was a small (n = 37) and unrepresentative sample, the findings revealed striking agreement on a number of issues. Reflecting issues touched upon above, consider the following examples:

Behavior #1:

ACR establishes an annual "Best article" award for papers published in the ACR Proceedings, then gives the award based on its assessment of the author's personality.

Thirty of 36 respondents to this question (83.3%) rated the behavior as "unethical" (16) or "highly unethical" (14); most (27; 75%) thought it would be something appropriate for an ACR Ethics Committee to consider. (If one substituted "Fellow Award" for "Best article," I suspect the results would not be too different.)

Behavior #2:

ACR member publishes a paper in which he presents an idea or procedure as being new and original, despite knowing that virtually the same idea or procedure was developed and published years earlier by others in journals not typically read by ACR members.

Thirty-six of 37 respondents to this question (97.3%) rated the behavior as "unethical" (12) or "highly unethical" (24); most (22; 59.5%) thought it would be something appropriate for an ACR Ethics Committee to consider.

For both behaviors, there was substantial agreement that the behaviors in question were unethical (83.3% and 97.3%, respectively) and were ones that would be appropriate for an ACR to consider (75% and 59.5%, respectively). Several of the other asked-about behaviors were associated with even higher levels of agreement (see Appendix G). Such widespread agreement suggests that, as ACR members share similar values and norms, developing an acceptable Code of Ethics should not be too difficult. However, these data were gathered from a small and unrepresentative sample.

Projectably Pervasive: My exploratory study led me to a design and conduct a more comprehensive and projectable survey of ACR members (n = 185; 92% academicians). The pattern of findings was very similar. While a fuller report is being prepared for submission elsewhere, a few of the findings are of particular interest in terms of issues discussed above.

One section of the questionnaire asked respondents to complete the following task: "Below is a list of illustrative behaviors that might become the focus of an ethical misconduct complaint. In each case, please suppose that the complaint involved an ACR member, and the work in question has been published in an ACR-sponsored publication.... Which, if any, do you consider to be a matter warranting ACR attention?" Using a six-point scale ("definitely does not...," "probably does not...," "uncertain," "probably does...," "definitely does warrant ACR attention," and "no opinion"), respondents were asked to evaluate 19 different potential complaints about an ACR member. The percentages answering "Definitely..." and "Probably does warrant ACR attention" for some issues of current interest are provided in Table 1. Based upon these data [The fact that 50.3% apparently do not view failure to use quotation marks around sentences as unethical suggests that some may not understand this behavior is a fundamental form of plagiarism. On the other hand, nearly nine in ten understand that to have "received another's unpublished notes and ideas and, without permission, published these before the original author could do so" represents unethical behavior.] (which reflect high levels of agreement and parallel high agreement found on a variety of other issues), one can infer that ACR members share a common set of norms and values regarding scholarly ethics and believe ACR should become more active in monitoring ethical matters within the discipline.






The cases described above, all involving respected ACR members, are but a few of the many examples of unethical and questionably ethical behavior I've personally experienced. If I were to include the many other examples told to me by the colleagues and graduate students who experienced themCincidents of deliberate acts of what Morris calls the three F's, fabrication, falsification and fraud, and the three P's, prevarication, plagiarism and profiteering (Holbrook, 1994, p. 568)Cmy knowledge of such incidents increases manyfold.

The bottom line is that we have a situation here of the academicians within ACR's pot calling those in other kettles black. I submit that if there is indeed a B-A distinction, its practical significance is nil and most likely corresponds to that depicted in Figure 2. There are good, less good and downright rotten apples in every bunch; in most instances, the means and distributions are probably about the same. So before anyone here begins pointing fingers at others, make sure that you and the organizations to which you belong and which you support are, at the very least, to the right of the mean of that other group's distribution. These days, I seriously doubt that ACR members can do this vis-a-vis the business sector. That's because, in an effort to control and weed out bad apples, at least many firms and organizations have developed and adopted codes of ethics. That's more than we can say about ourselves. If we can't clean up our own house, we have no moral basis for criticizing others whose homes might contain similar garbage. Academicians, heal thyselves. ["Many at ACR call for vigilance, followed by the hot pursuit and prosecution of those who practice deceptive advertising, including advertising that is 'deceptive via omission.' I support this sentiment. But why stop there? Why not be as vigilant and demanding when it comes to scholarly articles that engage in similar decption? Fair is fair. Why not turn the same spotlight on ourselves?" (Jacoby, 1992; letter of January 28, see Appendix D).]

Accordingly, unless you have access to a fount of data not otherwise available, I suggest you reject any stereotype that holds business people are less ethical than ACR scholars. Not only are such stereotypes unworthy of social scientists, but they clearly are not valid. Try not to forget that, for many of us, the business people we know best are our spousesCincluding those whose spouses are therapists "in business" for themselves. They are also our parents, grandparents, children, favorite aunts, etc. Recognize that good people do not automatically become unethical when they join industry. As would a true scholar, get the facts and evaluate each case on its own merits.

And just because an academician works with those in industry, don't automatically assume that that person's behavior must be unethical or is being done to satisfy evil purposes. Earlier I mentioned Peter Wright as one who has too long been denied the ACR Fellow Award. In my opinion, another whose contributions surely warranted his being elected an ACR Fellow long ago is Jagdish Sheth. From what I understand, the fact that he is also a successful businessman has been the main reason for denying him this honor. If this is indeed the reason, this shames us all.

And for those who cannot forsake their deeply ingrained anti-business sentiments, here's something to ponder. In addition to being an academician whose publications in our core journals garnered more citations in those journals than any other consumer researcher for a period of at least 15 years, I am also a successful businessman and damn proud of it. I come by my business success honestly and ethically, and I challenge any who would besmirch my reputation as an honest and ethical businessman to put up or shut up.


Recognize that the least costly, least risky and easiest thing for me to have done today was to graciously thank all involved in electing me a Fellow, [Actually, I am very grateful, especially to those former and present students and cllaborators who have helped bring me to this point, and especially to Jerry Olson who kept sending in those nomination letters and, when they inevitably failed, tried to keep my spirits up.] give an address on some facet of science that I had all along envisioned would mark my election as an ACR Fellow, [Instead of talking about ACR and an organization as had the five prior chief executives (two Chairmen of the Advisory Council and three Presidents), my ACR presidential Address was the first to focus on the scientific aspects of the emerging consumer research discipline (see Jacoby, 1976a p. 1 footnote #2). The twenty or so Presidential Addresses since then have generally followed this tradition. Though some might call me a contrarian, at this point in ACR's development, I believe it more important to turn the organization's focus inward to consider the way in which it is being governed (misgoverned?).] then sit down. Since I've been elected a Fellow, why dredge up past history? Why stick my neck out? Why risk alienating so many "powerful" people? Why risk unpleasant repercussions and retaliation? [It is probably inevitable that I will experience some shunning, ostracism, greater criticism of my scholarly work, etc., on the part of those identified herein and their colleagues, friends, etc. Though it would be difficult to discern, one would hope that the repercussions would not extend to retaliation via unethical practices when those named or their colleagues, friends, etc., serve as editors and reviewers of manuscripts.] There are a number of reasons.

Why am I Speaking Out?

First, being elected a Fellow is far and away inconsequential relative to safeguarding my name and reputation. As a by-product of raising these issues, one effect will be to address what apparently are some long- standing rumors shared and spread by a number of people in this organization. I also wanted to confront head on any whispers that might arise, now or later, to the effect that I condoned "the system" or was elected a Fellow as payment for maintaining a low profile and not making waves.

By speaking as candidly as I have, I probably alienated and angered some in the room today. If so, then perhaps they can understand that I felt at least as alienated and angered by their actions toward me. Regardless, I don't believe I will have alienated any who are concerned with behaving ethically and being part of an organization that operates in like fashion. To my way of thinking, making oral statements or even writing about ethics means very little if, when elected to a position of authority and trust, you "do unto others what you would not like them to do unto you." In other words, I only risk alienating those whose opinions and attitudes I no longer care about or respect. [As documented elsewhere (Jacoby, 1977), during my tenure as ACR President, I didn't just talk about the need for greater attention to ethical matters by ACR and its members; I devoted considerable time and effort to insuring that ACR instituted an Ethics Committee.]

In contrast, I know I don't risk alienating Jerry Olson, Wayne Hoyer, Gita Johar, Mimi Morrin, Zeynep Gurhan and Alfred Kuss, who are in the audience, or a number of others not here today. For those who might want to know what kind person I am, I suggest you speak to the people who know me bestCmy former students (all of whom worked for years as my "subordinates" and hence were vulnerable to any unethical whims I might have had or actions I might have taken) and frequent collaboratorsCand find out. If anything, I believe they will see this talk as providing a demonstration of behaving ethically and, when one can, confronting injustice in the scholarly organizations one holds dear. As such, they will understand my behavior as another instance of mentoring and serving as a role model.

A related reason for speaking out stems from a sense of responsibility and obligation. True, I risk repercussions and retaliation by those whom I've identified. However, if senior scholars can't talk out about questionably ethical conduct and misconduct within our community, then what hope is there for more junior scholars who witness and often bear the brunt of such unethical behavior (see Swazey et al. 1993, pp. 550-52)?

Another reason has to do with combating the smug sense of self-righteousness that many academicians in this organization seem to have vis-a-vis the ethics of those in other sectors. Look around the room. What do you see? A room full of people with superior ethics? If you believe this, then as people presumably practiced in scientific thinking, where is your evidence? And if you have no evidence, then come sit with me for a few more days, so that I may share some of my experiences and those of others whose sad stories I've heardClike the graduate student whose major professor took his term paper, then published it as his own; like the grad student whose research supervisor instructed him to count the answers to all the questions on crossed out pages of a questionnaire as valid data (i.e., to fabricate data); like the author of an "intro consumer" text telling me that the author of another "intro consumer" text had plagiarized his work; like the department chairman who diverted departmental resources for his own use; like the department chairman who awarded departmental summer assistantships to his own children; like visiting professor from a distant country who, after accepting a summer teaching job over the phone, is told upon his arrival that he would be paid 15% less than was agreed upon; like department chairmen and deans who while courting you, smile, lie to your face, shake your hand on a deal, then after you've arrived, have convenient memory lapses; ["Power -- the ability to do others great harm... -- can induce widespread amnesia, it appears" (Bhide and Stevenson, 1990, p. 123).] etc.; etc.; etc. Wake up! Academicians can be just as rotten, sleazy and slimy as any other group of people; there are rotten apples in every bunch.

Yet another reason for speaking out is that getting the award is far and away not as important as getting a meaningful award. Frankly, if it's going to be treated like a political football by those who happen to temporarily have the authority to grant it, then I don't want itCjust as I wouldn't want an award from any other organization I did not respect.

All of which brings me to the most important reason why I have spoken out as I have. I am convinced that ACR needs a fundamental overhaul, especially vis-a-vis ethics; this address is an act of moral conscience designed to move the organization in this direction. I am hoping that Deutsch and Steil are correct when they write:

By raising to consciousness the discontent and sense of injustice, a powerful and persisting energy for change is activated. (1988, p. 17).

What I have said thus far is prologue to what I would like to say regarding the future of ACR.

Where does ACR go from here?

Let me ask you a question: Can you name any other scholarly organization that's been around for 25 years, that is as large as or larger than ACR, that professes to be the voice of a scholarly disciplineCand that has no Code of Ethics? I can't. History reveals that, as part of their evolution and maturation, and in order to maintain credibility both inside and outside the field, organizations purporting to represent scholarly disciplines develop a focus on the ethical issues surrounding their discipline. Consumer research is a maturing area of scientific inquiry. Where is such emphasis within ACR? Our credibility as an organization claiming to represent the discipline is limited by the integrity of our members (and their research practices) and institutions. By not developing vehicles for handling ethical issues that surface in these regards, our credibility is left open to question. Academicians are no different from anyone else. Without policies to prevent and punish abuse, it is apparent that some will try to get away with as much as they can for as long as they can.

Perhaps stimulated by my letters (particularly those of January 28 and 29, 1992; see Appendix D), the Executive Committee issued a call in the December 1992 ACR Newsletter for volunteers to serve on a task force to examine "whether ACR should have any role in establishing and/or monitoring professional standards in the field of consumer behavior" (Smith, October 7, 1993, p. 2; see Appendix H). A six person committee was formed with Craig Smith as Chair.

Craig solicited letters from each of the committee members, then wove these various perspectives into a report (see Appendix H). This report was submitted to and considered by the ACR Board of Directors at its October 7, 1993 meeting. As Craig later wrote to his committee (October 21, 1993 letter; Appendix H): "our report to the ACR Board meeting resulted in a heated discussion," the net result of which was that "there was not sufficient support to justify" proceeding any further. "My interpretation of the response to our proposals is that the timing is not right. Maybe there is never a right time for this sort of initiative; but, quite frankly, it is simply not going to happen right now."

Reasons for NOT developing a Code of Ethics and establishing an Ethics Committee. In his October 21, 1993 letter, Craig identified five concerns expressed at the October 7th Board of Directors meeting. These were:

1. "An ethics code/committee may create a litigious climate if not a legal nightmare. Some participants spoke of their adverse experiences of these mechanisms in other contexts."

Over the past 30 years, I've belonged to a number of scientific and scholarly organizations, serving in a variety of official capacities in several of these. Not once have I ever known the presence of Codes of Ethics or Ethics Committees to "create a litigious climate." Think about it. Would you say the presence of a Code of Ethics has made the American Marketing Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Association for Public Opinion Research, etc., any more litigious than those same organizations would have been without a Code of Ethics? I sincerely doubt it. A lesson to be learned from Dr. Rees' experiences is to ask the people claiming to have knowledge of "adverse experiences ... in other contexts" to document their "experiences"Cand if they cannot or will not, to please shut up and sit down.

2. "Other mechanisms/avenues for redress are already available for many of the issues identified; for example, litigation for breach of copyright."

According to the illogic involved in this argument, no scholarly organization needs a Code of Ethics. Further, those proposing this argument disregard the fact that not every instance of unethical scholarly conduct warrants or is capable of being litigated. Regardless, litigation is time consuming, expensive (costing more than most scholars are willing or capable of paying), and has many associated indirect costs. For these reasons alone, it is usually the course of last resort.

Further, as evidenced by Case 3, some instances of questionably ethical conduct by a scholar may involves that scholar's unpublished works. As suggested by Case 7, some plagiarism may involve a scholar pilfering ideas and language from someone else's unpublished works. Does this mean that, to be safe from such pilfering, we now need to begin copyrighting all our working papers? And suppose I had copyrighted my working papers and decided to file a law suit against Kassarjian. Given that it would be difficult to show he profited monetarily or I sustained monetary damages as a consequence of what I believe was a case of intellectual theft, what could I hope to gain? On the other hand, consider the time, energy and financial resources I would have had to expend. [At the time, as an untenured Assistant Professor in a School of Humanities, and Social Science, with loans to pay, a wife not yet working, and two children under the age of two, I could hardly make ends meet, much less afford a law suit.] Though litigation sounds like an easy solution, it is far from that.

Moreover, many infractions tend to be subtle, seemingly minor and often done in ways that are not readily recognizable. That is probably why they escape the attention of journal reviewers who, like most scholars reading a scholarly paper operate on the assumption that what they are reading is an honest and truthful description. As a result, the victim has difficulty addressing these instances. For example, how was I to address the "scandalous" example in Case 1? As it was all accomplished via a single phrase within a single sentence, was I to write and submit a one or two paragraph rejoinder? Would the editor have published such a "piece" if I had, or is it more likely I would have been told it was a small point and, unless I had more to say, not worth publishing? And suppose the senior author of the Mouselab paper decided not to follow through on his promise that he would immediately revise the Mouselab working paper and, when relevant, would acknowledge my directly related and prior work in future scholarly writings? How am I to address this?

True, other organizations to which many ACR members belong have Codes of Ethics and Ethics Committees, thereby offering other avenues for redress. But some ACR members belong only to this organization. [When Kassarjian decided to ignore my 1992 request for justice, I turned to the American Psychological Association, only to be told that he had dropped his membership years earlier and, hence, no case could be opened on the matter. (See Appendix E, letter dated April 14, 1992.)] Moreover, as illustrated by Case 2, some problems involve work not published under the auspices of any scholarly organization. From whom should the aggrieved party seek redress under these circumstances? And if the incident involves something that happened under our auspices (e.g., misrepresentation in an article published in our Proceedings or in JCR, a journal we sponsor), why can't we take responsibility for policing our own?

Moreover, in those instances where the question of ethical misconduct involves concern with the governance and policies of this organization, why should an ACR member with a legitimate gripe be expected to go elsewhere?

3. "It is safer to rely on trust in the people to carry out ACR duties and to let the market work where this fails; for example, one would not work again with a co-author who cheated in some way and word got around."

This argument sounds very much like "trust big brother." But what are you supposed to do when you find big brother is the problem and, based on what you've experienced, can't be trusted to behave ethically?

Regardless, if there are any on the Executive Committee who truly believe and accept this argument, then they must certainly understand this Fellow Address to be a concrete manifestation of my trying to make sure the "word got around;" as such, I'm certain they support my speaking out so frankly. [If not, perhaps they will at least appreciate that I am not speaking "behind people's back" or hiding behind closed doors. Rather, I am expressing my thoughts and feelings openly and am willing to stand behind my words and take the consequences -- which is more than can be said about how some at ACR prefer to operate.] However, based on my experience, I think if you tell others that someone else plagiarized or misrepresented your work, rather than getting the problem solved, you place yourself in jeopardy of being branded by those without the facts (or interest in acquiring the facts) as someone who "quarrels with others over contributions" (see Case 5).

I believe that relying on a strategy of "getting the word around" will be as effective as relying on the tooth fairy to deliver a present. The notion that "trust is enforced in the marketplace through retaliation and reputation" and "if you violate a trust, ... others are likely to stop doing business with you," as Bhide and Stevenson note (1990, p. 122), "sounds plausible enough until you look for concrete examples." "More damaging to the moralists' position is the wealth of evidence against trust. Compared with the few ambiguous tales of treachery punished, we can find numerous stories in which deceit was unquestionably rewarded" (Bhide and Stevenson, 1990, p. 122).

Trust breakers are not only unhindered by bad reputations, they are usually also spared retaliation by those they injure.... attacking a more powerful transgressor is considered foolhardy.... if you are an employee and your employer breaks promises, you usually don't retaliate....

Where power doesn't protect against retaliation, convenience and cognitive inertia usually do. Getting even can be expensive; even thinking about broken trusts can be debilitating.

Retaliation is a luxury you can't afford, respondents told us. ... "It's a realization that comes with age: retaliation is a double loss. First you lose your money; now you're losing time."... Without convincing proof of one-sided fault, you'll get a reputation for vindictiveness and scare even honorable men and women away from establishing relationships. (Bhide and Stevenson, 1990, p. 125-26).

4. "The impact of an ethics code/committee on the character of ACR; the preference for an informal organization, not a bureaucracy like AMA."

This argument is nothing but a giant smokescreen. Consider the experiences of the American Psychological Association, an organization with more than 78,000 members (which works out to being approximately 50 times the size of ACR) and another 40,000 student affiliates. The most recent report of its Ethics Committee (1994) notes that a total of 66 cases were opened during all of 1993. The overwhelming majority of these involved matters of psychotherapy and therapeutic practice (see Table 4, p. 661). In all, only five complaints involved any of the 10 categories listed under "Inappropriate research, teaching or administrative practice." Of these, two involved controversies over authorship or credit, three involved controversies over supervision or termination. There were no complaints involving improper research, plagiarism, or biased data. Table 2 compares these data to that reported for the years 1991, 1992 and 1993 (see APA Ethics Committee, 1993, Table 4, p. 815).



Disregarding the "supervision/termination" supervisor vs. subordinate category, it can be seen that, with a complaint rate of only 7 cases over four years involving alleged misconduct in regard "research, teaching or administrative practice," APA's administrative/ bureaucratic workload is hardly overwhelming. If we can assume that consumer researchers are inclined to be no more nor less ethical than psychological researchers, so that on a percentage-per- member basis the same case load should apply, we can project ACR as having to contend with appreciably less than one case every few years. [This assumes that "word got around" that ACR had a Code of Ethics and Ethics Committee intent on dispensing appropriate penalties for violations and, knowing this, ACR members would become as careful in their scholarly writings as APA members apparently are in theirs.] This could hardly be termed a bureaucratic nightmare, especially when considered relative to what ACR and the discipline would stand to gain.

On the other hand, reflect for a moment on "the impact that not having an ethics code/committee would have on the character of ACR." It would grant license to those who engage in dishonest (or "sloppy") scholarship to continue operating as they have, in reckless disregard of well- established norms and canons of ethical scholarship. It would serve notice to other scholarly organizations that we are not willing to stand behind the scholarship and truthfulness of what our members publish in our publications and beyond. It would tell the outside world that we are an ethically lawless organization not willing to accept the responsibilities that go along with claiming to be the voice of a scholarly discipline. Is that what we want?

5. "Guidelines may restrict individual freedom: `I don't want to be governed.'"

Who does? But we all, professors included, have to grow up sometime. Individual freedom is not absolute. Even our First Amendment Right to "Freedom of Speech" is not absolute. Try yelling "fire" in a theatre or saying "I have a gun" in an airport terminal. Try telling a judge he has no right to issue a "gag order," or a government employee that he cannot be prohibited from divulging this country's secrets. Consider the 1988 "gag rule" formulated by Pres. Ronald Reagan's Department of Health and Human Services which "prohibited physicians in federally funded clinics from telling women that abortion was a legal option ... [Instead] Women who inquired about the procedure were to be told that the clinic did not consider abortion to be an appropriate part of family planning.'" (NY Times, 1994, A16). There are also laws against free speech when that speech is slanderous. Perhaps the only absolute right we have is our right to "equal justice" (and in those states that have a death penalty, it is clear that the right to justice even supercedes the right to life). [The author thanks his daughter, Robin, for bringing the relative importance of these rights to his attention.] At ACR, the emphasis on "equal justice" relative to that placed on "free speech" seems to be reversed.

And while some on the Executive Committee might not like it, what would the members like? Two questions near the end of the "Projectably Pervasive" study (see "When `enough' became `enough'!!!," above) provide some indication. These two questions and the corresponding data are summarized in Table 3. As these data show, 80% (four out of five) respondents said they were in favor of ACR developing and publishing a Code of Ethics and 66% (two out of three) were in favor of ACR establishing an Ethics Committee to hear complaints that ACR may receive regarding its members.

Yet despite what appears to be shared norms and strong support for such actions, the ACR governance has not seen fit either to discuss this matter with the membership or submit it to a membership vote. What is going on here? Do we really need or want a paternalistic governance imposing its will on the membership on an issue that is not only of considerable concern and importance to the discipline, but one on which there apparently exists widespread member convergence on positions contrary to that prevalent among the governance?

Suppose we had a debate on the issue. What would that debate show? Among other things, it would expose the pros and cons of our taking such actions. As we've already considered some (all?) of the cons, [Within hours of this Address, a few senior ACR members told me that this talk took a lot of the "fun" out of research for them. For the record: I am not against fun. By renting a room, spending $100 of my own money and inviting "more than 100 of my closest friends" to a party at ACR's second annual conference at the University of Chicago, I think I began what has evolved into ACR's Thursday night receptions. Though it may be viewed as such by some, it needs to be remembered that ACR is not a social club, but a scientific organization. Yes, it's not like the old days -- but kids and teenagers grow up. As a maturing scholarly organization, when there is a conflict, trustworthy science needs to prevail, or we really have no basis for claiming legitimacy as a scientific organization.] let's consider some of the pros.



Reasons FOR developing a Code of Ethics and establishing an Ethics Committee. "Members of a group who share common norms also share common obligations to protect these norms and respond to their violations" (Deutsch and Steil, 1988, p. 4). In other words, freedoms and rights bring with them corresponding obligations and responsibilities (Wilkie, 1990, Appendix 21-B). We can't continue to enjoy our freedoms while irresponsibly shirking our obligationsCat least not continue to do so and also believe we warrant respect.

Consider Schein's work on "the psychological contract." When an individual joins an organization, both parties enter into a "psychological contract" (Schein, 1965, p. 11). "The notion of a psychological contract implies that the individual has a variety of expectations of the organization and that the organization has a variety of expectations of him. The expectations ... involve his whole pattern of rights, privileges, and obligations.... [one of which is that the organization will] insure that he will not be taken advantage of." And how do they accomplish this? By establishing fair and effective processes for the allocation of rewards and punishment.

"Effective allocation processes are essential to the survival of a social system" (Leventhal et al. 1980, p. 174). According to these authors, two of the seven components required for effective allocation processes are "Safeguards" and "Appeals."

Safeguards. Some procedures serve as safeguards which ensure that agents who administer the allocative process are performing their duty properly. Other safeguards deter opportunistic individuals from obtaining rewards ... illicitly. In both cases, the procedures call for monitoring the behavior of individuals and applying sanctions when violations occur.

Appeals. Social systems usually contain some form of grievance or appeal procedures... (Leventhal et al. 1980, p. 170-71).

With specific respect to scholarly organizations, Swazey et al. (1993, p. 547) note: "The ways in which suspected misconduct and other ethical problems are dealt with ... are crucial to the integrity of research and scholarship, and they may help shape the values, the attitudes and the behavior of trainees." On the other hand, here is a prescription for disaster: "Environments that foster expectations of retaliation, coupled with low levels of exercised collective responsibility for the conduct of colleagues ... raise grave concerns about the willingness and ability of academic research communities to govern ..." in a way that insures the integrity of their enterprise (Swazey et al., p. 449; bolding supplied). This echos what Lanberth and Kimmel conclude: scientists "collectively assume responsibility for the knowledge that they generate through scientific and interdisciplinary organizations" (1981, p. 78; bolding supplied). Establishing a Code of Ethics to govern scholarly research practices within the domain of consumer research is our responsibility, no-one else's.

Both as individuals and collectively, want to be a positive role model? Then don't shove ethical problems under the carpet. Want to show that ethics matter? Then take a stand. In informing the ACR Professional Standards Task Force of what transpired at the October 7, 1993 Board meeting, Craig Smith wrote: "The Board and closely associated ACR members are focused on the specific complaints of Jack Jacoby which may or may not be a sound basis for evaluating our proposals ..., but are influencing the decision nonetheless" (Appendix K, October 21, 1993 Memorandum, p. 2). This suggests they think ethics are Jack Jacoby's issue, not everybody's issue. Perhaps, behaving like children, they are blind to the fact that spinach is good for them. Regardless, they seem not to understand that developing a Code of Ethics to govern our scholarly research practices is our responsibility as scientists.

This I do know: "Justice is itself the great standing policy of any civil society; and any departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all" (Burke, 1899, 438-9). Recognize that choosing not to act in this regard, in effect, is an ethical statement. It means you accept and condone the present, ethically lawless system of "Anything goes." Those who do should not be surprised when they later get what they deserve.

So, aside from feeling real good about yourself, what are the benefits ACR would derive from developing a Code of Ethics and establishing an Ethics Committee? I see at least seven: clarifying expectations, fairness, accountability, role modeling, credibility, a decrease in unethical practices, and the avoidance of hypocrisy and shame.

1. Clarifying expectations: As Schmeisser (1992, p. 7) notes, codes of ethics are "intended to clarify the expectations of professional conduct ... and to affirm that the profession intends and expects its members to recognize the ethical dimensions of their practice."

An example of clarifying expectations that pertains to two of the aboveBcited cases, consider the following passages from pages 292B294 of the APA Publications Manual:

Different scholarly disciplines have different publication styles. In contrast, there are basic ethical principles that underlie all scholarly writing. These longstanding ethical principles are designed to achieve two goals:

1. To ensure the accuracy of scientific and scholarly knowledge and

2. To protect intellectual property rights.

Quotation marks should be used to indicate the exact words of another....

Psychologists do not present substantial portions or elements of another's work or data as their own, even if the other work or data source is cited occasionally.[bolding supplied]

The key element of this principle is that an author does not present the work of another as if it were his or her own words. If an author models a study after one done by someone else, the originating author should be given credit.

Plagiarism can be subtle and disguised as when the second author occasionally acknowledges or cites the origianl source. But as the above passsages indicate, such occasional reference to the original source is insufficient when the reader is left with the impression that some of the ideas and words taken from the original source were the second author's, not the original source. Of course, Kassarjian might contend he was unaware that occasional citing was insufficient BB which is all the more reason why a Code of Ethics clarifying expectations is needed in this field.

2. Fairness: Probably not much more needs to be said than has already been said above. Those who still don't "get it," that is, understand that fairness and justice are at the core of all social enterprises, including the community of scholars, may be hopelessly and cortically ethically deficient (Blakeslee, 1994, pp. C1, C14).

3. Accountability: Both as individual scholars and when serving as representatives of this organization, ACR members need to be accountable for their actions in connection with this discipline and organization. If you don't want to be held accountable for a particular action, then don't do it. As part of this accountability, after 25 years, it's about time ACR developed and instituted appropriate safeguards and appeals mechanisms.

The governance of ACR offers various opportunities for questionably ethical practice, especially since a number of important decisions are reached behind closed doors. [When an ACR member whose questionably ethical or unethical behavior causes another ACR member to bring the matter to the attention of an ACR President, Executive Committee or Board of Directors requesting them to consider the matter and take some appropriate action, one issue such as ACR President, Executive Committee or Board of Directors needs to be especially sensitive to is anything (e.g., friendships between the President or a member of the Executive Committee/Board of Directors and the alleged wrongdoer) that might create the existence or appearance of a conflict of interest.] When these involve actions of an ACR committee, the aggrieved party can bring the matter to the attention of the President and Executive Committee. But what does he or she do if the problem originates at the organization's highest level? To avoid creating the impression that ACR is an organization run by a coterie of insiders having little or no accountability, ACR needs a formally constituted body (e.g., an independent Ethics Committee at which appeals could be heard) to serve a checks-and-balances function.

4. Role modeling: Swazey et al. (1993, p. 547) note: "The ways in which suspected misconduct and other ethical problems are dealt with ... are crucial to the integrity of research and scholarship, and they may help shape the values, the attitudes and the behavior of trainees." Words are cheap. It's not sufficient to write or talk a good line about ethics if one then fails to behave accordingly. It sets a bad example for the kids.

5. Establishing Credibility: "It is my belief that unless we demonstrate a firm commitment to high ethical principles and practice ... our claim to legitimacy will always be open to serious question. Our credibility can only be as good as our integrity" (Jacoby, 1977, p. 256). As long as we refuse to accept any responsibility for what our members do in the name of our science, we remain nothing but a pretense for an organization having a legitimate right to claim it represents a scholarly discipline. As such, we would deserve and have no credibility.

6. Decrease in unethical practices: As Schmeisser (1992) suggests, among the most important benefits of a code of ethics, when coupled with enforcement procedures, is that it decreases instances of unethical behavior.

7. Avoidance of hypocrisy and shame: Those of us who continue to inveigh against the ethical failures of others (e.g., by railing against advertisers who are "deceptive via omission" and lawyers who "shade the truth") while tolerating such practices by ACR members should understand that this gives reason for others to consider us nothing but a bunch of smug, self-righteous hypocrites who obviously can't see beyond our myths and illusions.

Developing a Code of Ethics. Developing a Code of Ethics and set of enforcement policies will no doubt require dedicated time and effort (see Appendix H). At very least, it should entail broad member input. [Saying that the members are always free to attend and speak up at the Thursday Executive Committee meeting before the start of each annual conference is not substitute. In any give year, the large majority of members do not attend the conference. Those that do attend generally arrive after the Executive Committee meeting takes place. If 15 people attend these meetings, that's a lot -- and less than 1% of the membership. According to Don Lehmann only 2 people attended the 1994 Executive Committee meeting. Clearly, we need a more adequate forum for discussion and debate.] It should also involve a review of what related social science organizations (e.g., APA, AMA, AAPOR) have developed. Here are some other suggestions.



Do we consider ourselves scientists? The National Academy of Sciences has adopted a strict definition of misconduct in scientific research (Nature, 1992). Both the National Science Foundation and the Public Health Service define scientific fraud and misconduct as "practices that seriously deviate from community expectations." One would think that the expectations within ACR regarding honest scholarship and the proper citation of others creative contributions are not unlike those in the other, more mature behavioral sciences. If so, then as a Preamble, we should consider incorporating some or all of the NAS and/or NSF language.

As to specific standards, perhaps it would be helpful to start with APA's Code of Ethics (December, 1992, p. 1597- 1611). After removing the nine standards dealing with psychotherapy, we could determine which of the six Principles and remaining 93 standards might be appropriate. [As possibilities, consider the following passages extracted from Principles B, "Integrity," and Principle C, "Professional and Scientific Responsibility" (see page 1599):

Psychologists seek to promote integrity in the science, teaching and practice of psychology. In these activities, psychologists are honest, fair, and respectful of other. In describing or reporting their qualifications, services, products, fees, research, or teaching, they do not make statements that are false, misleading, or deceptive. (From Principle B).

Psychologists are concerned about the ethical compliance of their colleague's scientific and professional conduct. (From Principle C.)]

Consider, also, doing research on the membership. One thing to find out is what, specifically, would be viewed as "practices that seriously deviate from community expectations?" Another is what penalties our members would consider acceptable for violations of each type of practice. The "Projectably Pervasive" study referred to above did this for several practices. Table 4 summarizes the findings for plagiarism. (Note: Respondents were asked to indicate "all those penalties you feel are appropriate;" hence, the percentages add to more than 100%.) From here it can be seen that the membership is not of an "off with their heads" mentality, though I suspect higher percentages would be obtained now as compared to when these data were collected.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy promulgated a Bill of Consumers Rights that included, among others, the right to full and accurate information and the right to redress. While as members of American society, all consumers have these rights, at this very moment, consumer researchers as members of ACR do not. Apparently, we don't even enjoy the right to have our legitimate questions answered by those whom we elect to positions of authority and trust.

Since a Code of Ethics is likely to evolve over time, let's get something in place sooner rather than later and not hide behind the lame excuse "We wanted it to be complete/perfect before implementing anything." Let ACR not find itself in the position of an exposed plagiarist who may, too late, understand the full import of Tryon Edwards' observation: "Hell is truth seen too late; duty neglected in its season" (Edwards, 1957, p. 268).

Let Fellows Elect Fellows: It has always seemed strange to me that people who are themselves not Fellows should be the arbiters of which scholars are elected Fellows. Now that there are 14 living Fellows, as is done by all other organizations I know of honoring members through the election of Fellows, after the Nominating Committee has done its work, let ACR's Fellows handle the final stage of their own election. In the era of FAXing and conference calls, this should not pose insurmountable problems.

But whatever we do, let's at least get the criteria straight and applied uniformly and justly. This is an award made on behalf of the membership and supposed to reflect the organization as a whole. Accordingly, why shouldn't the membership play a role in identifying, clarifying and voting to approve these criteria? And if the membership is not given a say in the matter, then let the Board justify why it finds vagueness and "undefined" criteria preferable, so that the Call for Nominations for Fellows reads: "Although the Board of Directors has deliberately kept the qualifications for the award undefined, [This seems to be a strange posture for social scientist to adopt. Think of the implications for science if we kept our concepts "undefined" before we went out to identify and measure exemplars of these constructs. According to the language found in the 1978 ACR Minutes, the founding fathers of the Fellow Award had a clear idea of what they wanted the award to represent.] it has been stipulated over the years that the award is for a long period of productivity and contribution, not for a single or a few contributions to the field" (bolding supplied). Further, why is this "productivity" language different from the "significant impact on scholarly work in consumer behavior" language used upon founding the award? What are the implications of this subtle change? Regardless shouldn't the membership have a say in this?

By way of providing guidance, something for posterity, and further insuring a fair and effective reward allocation process, as do other scholarly organizations, let's consider having a description indicating why each elected Fellow merited the award published in the annual ACR Proceedings, either the year that Fellow is elected or when he/she delivers his/her Fellow's Address.

Where do individual ACR Members go from here?

I hope this Address adds to the motivation that I'm sure most ACR members have to think and behave ethically. When in doubt, think of applying the Golden Rule. Again, I've found the best way to apply this rule is to invert it and say: "Don't do unto others what you would not want them to do unto you." Another question you might ask: "Is it fair?"

Second, "ethics" is fast becoming a burgeoning arena for scholarshipCso much so, that Larry Erlbaum (LEA Publishers) found a sufficient quantity of high quality work to initiate and sustain a new journal, Ethics and Behavior, now in its fourth year. Several other journals also focus on ethics. I hope this Address will stimulate some to consider doing research on this subject. Lord knows, there are many opportunities for such meaningful research in our field.

Third, I encourage each ACR member to expect ethical behavior; but if you experience unethical behavior, please consider speaking out. Though the current climate makes it easier to do so than it was in 1971, it's still not easy, especially when the guilty party is in a position of authority. I would only suggest that you keep as good records as you can and consider speaking out when there is no longer any danger of a Pyrrhic victory. As the Swiss Philosopher, Henry Frederic Amiel, noted: "Truth is not only violated by falsehood, it may be equally outraged by silence" (in Edwards, 1957, p. 688).

Where does Jack Jacoby go from here?

First, I want to let those who are wont to slander me know that, from this point onward, you better have hard evidence to back up what you say because I'm going to come after you with everything at my disposal including, if necessary, a law suit. Unfortunately, this blunt language seems to be the only kind that some at ACR understand.

Other than that immutable resolve, where I go from here depends, in part, what this organization does. One thing I will consider is whether this address (sans appendices) is published in full, or whether some reason will be concocted as to why it should not be published in its current, albeit controversial form. Any who might call for this address to be condensed or revised should keep the following in mind. Though page length restrictions apply to all other contributions to the ACR Proceedings, such restrictions have never been applied to the addresses of either Presidents or Fellows. Hence, any retroactive attempt to impose a requirement that this address be condensed or revised before it can be published should be recognized as an act of censorship not in keeping either with ACR precedent or the hallowed tradition of intellectual freedom.

More importantly, where I go from here depends on where ACR goes from here. As an organization without a Code of Ethics or Ethics Committee, I see parallels between ACR's current situation and organizations that have rules against accepting Jews, Afro-Americans, etc. as members. It has become fashionable among those seeking elected office to say that they've come to understand that remaining a member of such organizations is morally wrong so that, after years of going along with these policies, they are dropping their memberships.

Well I'm not seeking any elected office either here or elsewhere. But I can no longer, in good conscience, remain a member of a scholarly organization, now celebrating its 25th year, that continues to reject the notion of developing and acting according to a Code of Ethics, and then compounds the problem by treating its rank and file members like children by denying them a vote on this issue. Like those who refused to invest in the stocks of firms doing business in South Africa or the tobacco or alcoholic beverage industries, unless there is positive action on the ethics front, I will no longer invest any resources in ACRCother than to take the time to resign. Specifically, if I see no movement in this direction by ACR's governance during the next 12 months, then considering it analogous to refusing to be associated with any other organization I believed was operating lawlessly and unethically, I will resign from ACR. I don't want my name listed as a supporter of an ethically lawless scholarly organization only to later be forced to give some lame excuse for having passively accepted its lawlessness.

Though I will feel sad about it, I will leave with my head held high, knowing that, (as a successful and ethical businessman,) for periods involving 15 and 20 years, I achieved a level of impact on scholarship in the field that few could match. My head will be held even higher knowing that I had done everything within my power, including incurring considerable financial costs and risking the wrath and retaliation of others, to help this organization behave responsibly in fulfilling rather than debasing its destiny as the voice of scholarly research on consumer behavior. Thereafter, whatever would be said about me by those here would not hurt, as I can only be hurt by those whom I respect. By its refusal to act responsibly, ACR would have demonstrated it no longer deserved my respect.

Fortunately, I don't think I will have to resign. Ever since serving on his doctoral committee, I've known Don Lehmann to be a straight-shooter and follower of the Golden Rule. I am certain he understands the merit of what I'm advocating and confident that, as incoming ACR President, he will help those who may not like this messenger or his style [For those who may think that this Address is "socially inappropriate" and may cause undesirable angst and conflict, I suggest they be at least as concerned with the scholarly practices and unfair organizational procedures at ACR that provide the wellsprings for the Address.] understand that the substance of the message is something vital to their own interests. With that, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues all, I thank you for listening.


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Jacob Jacoby, New York University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 22 | 1995

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