, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 273-290

Dishonesty in Academics and Business: A Cross-Cultural Evaluation of Student Attitudes

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Abstract

This study presents the findings from aninternational survey of college students whichexamined perceptions and attitudes towarddishonesty in academic and business contexts. Data were collected from undergraduate studentsstudying business and economics in eighttransitional economies of Eastern Europe andCentral Asia and from students in the UnitedStates. The results indicate that academiccheating is a common activity in all of thecountries surveyed. Even though most studentsreported fearing the punishment of beingcaught, substantial numbers of studentsindicated that academic cheating is sociallyacceptable and not ethically wrong. When askedto rate their perceived degree of dishonestywith respect to behavior in an academic settingrelative to analogous behavior in a businesssetting, students in both the United States andthe transitional economies viewed dishonesty ina business context more severely thandishonesty in an academic context. Theevidence also suggests that when compared tostudents in the transitional economies,American students apply a relatively higherstandard of honesty toward behavior in both theacademic and business settings.