When you speak or write, do you own the words that you have created? What about the thoughts that preceded those words?
These questions get to the very heart of referencing and citation requirements in academic work. In the Western academic world, the presumption is that you do, in some sense, own your words and thoughts; at the very least, you have privileges pertaining to them. The main privilege is to be credited, or cited, for your effort and scholarship.
These notions of authorship and ownership, however, are based in cultural expectations and are neither better nor worse than other cultural perspectives. Some non-western cultures have historically placed emphasis on communal knowledge and showing respect through imitation. In the Western world, ideas relating to intellectual property have changed over time (Bowden, 1996).
With these thoughts in mind, consider your culture of origin in addressing the following topics:
Describe cultural attitudes toward and presumptions about whether a person can own words and knowledge. Have modern trends such as globalization and easy access to information affected these presumptions? Consider how academic integrity is also applicable in an organisation. Do you believe the same presumptions hold true in your career as an employee of an organisation? How might this assignment be relevant in your workplace? Provide an example situation in which you were, or may be, asked to provide research and reference on specific materials for a sector of your organisation. You may wish to do additional research to support your views. Formulate and share a plan for learning or honing the citation and referencing skills you will need as you participate in this degree programme.
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