Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 51–71 | Cite as

Factors of Academic Misconduct in a Cross-Cultural Perspective and the Role of Integrity Systems

  • Marina MakarovaEmail author


In this article, the main factors of academic cheating and plagiarism in four countries (Russia, US, Poland, and Latvia) are analyzed. Three groups of factors are investigated, namely individual, motivational, and contextual. A mixed method approach has been used, with material including student surveys, interviews with university teachers and administrators, and analysis of university documents. The survey results show that the role of individual social-demographic factors are not significant for predicting misconduct. Students are prone to neutralize their own blame in misconduct, and refer to the external conditions by the proposition that it is difficult to avoid cheating and plagiarism during university studies. Students are also more likely to cheat and plagiarize in the conditions of weak teachers’ control and deterrents. Such results demonstrate the importance of an integrity policy at the national, institutional and classroom levels, and that the social and cultural environment can be important factors in cheating. Integrity systems and the level, which they have been implemented, have a significant impact on student misconduct and attitudes toward cheating.


Cheating Plagiarism Integrity system Teacher deterrents 



The author would like to thank the following individuals for their help and support: Professor Krzysztof Kosela, Professor Maredith Redlin, Katarzyna Uklańska, Ewa Antoniak, Jurijs Ņikišins, Konstantin Obukhov for their support and assistance in the research; Dr. Jennifer Ast for editing the paper; Professor Leonid Polishchuk for valuable discussions in research. The initiative was supported through following grants: Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program (Russia); ERAMUNDUS-EMA2; The Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding.


  1. Anderman, E. M. (2007). In E. M. Anderman & T. B. Murdock (Eds.), Psychology of academic cheating. Amsterdam; Boston: Elsevier Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Antion, D. L., & Michael, W. B. (1983). Short-term predictive validity of demographic, affective, personal, and cognitive variables in relation to two criterion measures of cheating behaviors. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 43(2), 467–483.Google Scholar
  3. Bolin, A. U. (2004). Self-control, perceived opportunity, and attitudes as predictors of academic dishonesty. The Journal of Psychology, 138(2), 101–114.Google Scholar
  4. Bowers, W. J. (1964). Student dishonesty and its control in college. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, B. S., & Emmett, D. (2001). Explaining variations in the level of academic dishonesty in studies of college students: Some new evidence. College Student Journal, 35(4), 529–539.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, B. S., Weible, R. J., & Olmosk, K. E. (2010). Business school deans on student academic dishonesty: A survey. College Student Journal, 44(2), 299–308.Google Scholar
  7. Burrus, R.t. T., McGoldrick, K. M., & Schuhmann, P. W. (2007). Self-reports of student cheating: Does a definition of cheating matter? The Journal of Economic Education, 48(1), 3–16.Google Scholar
  8. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  9. De Bruin, G. P., & Rudnick, H. (2007). Examining the cheats: The role of conscientiousness and excitement seeking in academic dishonesty. South Africa Journal of Psychology, 37(1), 153–164.Google Scholar
  10. Diekhoff, G. M., LaBeff, E. E., Clark, R. E., Williams, L. E., Francis, B., & Haines, V. J. (1996). College cheating: Ten years later. Research in Higher Education, 37, 487–502.Google Scholar
  11. Eckstein, M. A. (2003). Combating academic fraud towards the culture of integrity. Paris: IIEP. UNESC.Google Scholar
  12. Elias, R. Z. (2009). The impact of anti-intellectualism attitudes and academic self-efficacy on business students’ perceptions of cheating. Journal of Business Ethics, 86(2), 199–209.Google Scholar
  13. Foltýnek, T., & Surovec, M. (2015). Promoting Academic Integrity Helps National Economy. In Conference Proceedings. 1. vyd. Brno (pp. 121–133). MENDELU Publishing Centre.Google Scholar
  14. Gallant, T. B. (2008). Academic integrity in the twenty-first century: A teaching and learning imperative. ASHE Higher Education Report, 33(5), 34–39.Google Scholar
  15. Gallant, T. B., & Drinan, P. (2006). Organizational theory and student cheating: Explanation, responses, and strategies. The Journal of Higher Education, 77(5), 839–860.Google Scholar
  16. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  17. Glendinning, I. (2013). Comparison of policies for academic integrity in higher education across the European Union. IPPHEAE project consortium. Retrieved September, 8, 2016 ( Accessed 25.12.2017.
  18. Grimes, P. W. (2004). Dishonesty in academics and business: A cross-cultural evaluation of student attitudes. Journal of Business Ethics, 49, 273–290.Google Scholar
  19. Gross, E. R. (2011). Clashing values: Contemporary views about cheating and plagiarism compared to traditional beliefs and practices. Education, 132(2), 435–440.Google Scholar
  20. Harding, T. S., Mayhew, M. J., Finelli, C. J., & and Carpenter, D. (2007). The theory of planned behavior as a model of academic dishonesty in humanities and engineering undergraduates. Ethics and Behavior, 17 (4), 255–279.Google Scholar
  21. Jones, D. L. R. (2011). Academic dishonesty: Are more students cheating? Business Communication Quarterly, 74(2), 141–150.Google Scholar
  22. Karklins, R. (2005). The system made me do it: Corruption in post-communist societies. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  23. Kibler, W. L. (1993). Academic dishonesty: A student development dilemma. NASPA Journal, 30(4), 252–267.Google Scholar
  24. LaBeff, E. E., Clark, R. E., Haines, V. J., & Diekhoff, G. M. (1990). Situational ethics and college student cheating. Sociological Inquiry, 60(2), 190–198.Google Scholar
  25. Lang, J. M. (2013). Cheating lessons: Learning from academic dishonesty. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Löfström, E., & Kupila, P. (2013). The instructional challenges of student plagiarism. Journal of Academic Ethics, 11, 231–242.Google Scholar
  27. McCabe, D. L., &. Treviño, L. K. (1993). Academic dishonesty: Honor codes and other contextual influences. The Journal of Higher Education 68(5), 520–538.Google Scholar
  28. McCabe, D. L., Treviño, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (1999). Academic integrity in honor code and non-honor code environments: A qualitative investigation. The Journal of Higher Education, 70(2), 211–234.Google Scholar
  29. McCabe, D. L., Treviño, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (2001). Cheating in academic institutions: A decade of research. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 219–232.Google Scholar
  30. McCabe, D. L., Butterfield, K. D., & Treviño, L. K. (2006). Academic dishonesty in graduate business programs: Prevalence, causes and proposed action. The Academy of Management Learning and Education, 5(3), 294–306.Google Scholar
  31. McCabe, D. L., Butterfield, K. D., & Treviño, L. K. (2012). Cheating in college: Why students do it and what educators can do about it. Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Miller, W. L., Grødeland, Å. B., & Koshechkina, T. Y. (2001). A culture of corruption? Coping with government in post-communist Europe, Budapest & New York: Central European. University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Pavela, G. (1997). Applying the power of association on campus: A model code of academic integrity. Journal of College and University Law, 24(1), 97–118.Google Scholar
  34. Pulvers, K., & Diekhoff, G. M. (1999). The relationship between academic dishonesty and college classroom environment. Research in Higher Education, 40(4), 487–498.Google Scholar
  35. Qwunwanne, D., Rustagi, N., & Dada, R. (2010). Students’ perceptions of cheating and plagiarism in higher institutions. Journal Of College Teaching And Learning, 7(11), 59–68.Google Scholar
  36. Rothstein, B. (2011). Anti-corruption: The indirect ‘big-bang’ approach. Review of International Political Economy, 18(2), 228–250.Google Scholar
  37. Shils, E. A. (1984). The academic ethic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  38. Smyth, M. L., & James, R. D. (2004). Perceptions of dishonesty among two-year college students: Academic versus business situations. Journal of Business Ethics, 51(1), 62–73.Google Scholar
  39. Spear, J. A., & Miller, N. (2012). The effects of instructor fear appeals and moral appeals on cheating-related attitudes and behavior of university students. Ethics & Behavior, 22(3), 196–207.Google Scholar
  40. Urquhart, C., Lehmann, H., & Myers, M. D. (2010). Putting the ‘theory’ back into grounded theory: Guidelines for grounded theory studies in information systems. Info Systems Journal, 20, 357–381.Google Scholar
  41. Vandehey, M. A., Diekhoff, G. M., & LaBeff, E. E. (2007). College cheating: A twenty-year follow-up and the addition of an honor code. Journal of College Student Development, 48(4), 468–480.Google Scholar
  42. Vansteenkiste, M., Lens, W., & Deci, E. L. (2006). Intrinsic versus extrinsic goal contents in self-determination theory: Another look at the quality of academic motivation. Educational Psychologist, 41(1), 19–31.Google Scholar
  43. Wei, T., Chesnut, S., Barnard-Brak, L., & Schmidt, M. (2014). University Students' perceptions of academic cheating: Triangulating quantitative and qualitative findings. Journal of Academic Ethics, 12(4), 287–298.Google Scholar
  44. Whitley, B. E. (1998). Factors associated with cheating among college students: A review. Research in Higher Education, 39, 235–274.Google Scholar
  45. Whitley, B. E. Jr, Nelson, A. B., & Jones, C.J. (1999). Gender differences in cheating attitudes and classroom cheating behavior: A meta-analysis. Sex Roles; Nov; 41 (9/10), 657–680.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Institute of History and SociologyUdmurt State UniversityIzhevskRussia

Personalised recommendations