Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 189–199 | Cite as

Is Classroom Cheating Related to Business Students' Propensity to Cheat in the "Real World"?

  • Raef A. Lawson

Abstract

Previous studies have reportedstudents' widely held belief that they are moreethical than businessmen. On the other hand,widespread cheating among college students hasbeen reported. This paper examines thisinconsistency between the beliefs of collegestudent regarding the need for ethical behaviorin a business setting and their actions in anacademic setting.

The results of this study indicate that whilestudents are generally upset with cheating intheir class, a large proportion of themnonetheless engage in such behavior. It wasfurther found that students have a goodunderstanding of what constitutes ethicalbehavior in the business world and the need forsuch behavior. However, they also believe thatbusiness people fail to act in an ethicalmanner, and that they may need to actunethically to advance their careers.

Students' concern with business ethicscontrasted sharply with their own lack ofpersonal ethics. This "paradox" is consistentwith the idea that students view thepracticality of an action as being moreimportant than its ethicality. This belief isa cause for concern and indicates a need forstudents to sharpen their ethicaldecision-making skills in complex real-worldtype settings.

academic dishonesty businessmen cheating ethics gender GPA grade level students 

References

  1. Arlow, P.: 1991, 'Personal Characteristics in College Students' Evaluation of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility', Journal of Business Ethics 10, 63-69.Google Scholar
  2. Arlow, P. and T. Ulrich: 1985, 'Business Ethics and Business School Graduates: A Longitudinal Study', Akron Business and Economic Review 16, 13-17.Google Scholar
  3. Baumhart, R.: 1961, 'How Ethical Are Businessmen?', Harvard Business Review 39 (July-August), 6-31.Google Scholar
  4. Beggs, J. and M. Lane: 1989, 'Corporate Goal Structures and Business Students: A Comparative Study of Values', Journal of Business Ethics 8, 471-478.Google Scholar
  5. Beltramini, R., R. Peterson and G. Kormetsky: 1984, 'Concerns of College Students Regarding Business Ethics', Journal of Business Ethics 3, 195-200.Google Scholar
  6. Carroll, A.: 1975, 'Managerial Ethics: A Post-Watergate View', Business Horizons 18(2), 75.Google Scholar
  7. Cole, B. and D. Smith: 1996, 'Perceptions of Business Ethics: Students vs. Business People', Journal of Business Ethics 15, 889-896.Google Scholar
  8. Collinson, M.: 1990, 'Apparent Rise in Students' Cheating Has College Officials Worried', The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 17), A33, A35.Google Scholar
  9. Crown, D. and M. Spiller: 1998, 'Learning from the Literature on Collegiate Cheating: A Review of Empirical Research', Journal of Business Ethics 17, 683-700.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, J. and R. Welton: 1991, 'Professional Ethics: Business Students' Perceptions', Journal of Business Ethics 10, 451-463.Google Scholar
  11. DeConick, J. and D. Good: 1989, 'Perceptual Differences of Sales Practitioners and Students Concerning Ethical Behavior', Journal of Business Ethics 8, 667-676.Google Scholar
  12. DeSalvia, D. and G. Gemmill: 1971, 'An Exploratory Study of the Personal Value Systems of College Students and Managers', Academy of Management Journal 14, 227-238.Google Scholar
  13. Ford, R. and W. Richardson: 1994, 'Ethical Decision Making: A Review of the Empirical Literature', Journal of Business Ethics 13(3), 205-221.Google Scholar
  14. Glenn, Jr., J.: 1988, 'Business Curriculum and Ethics: Student Attitudes and Behavior', Business and Professional Ethics Journal 7(3&4), 167-185.Google Scholar
  15. Glenn, Jr., J. and M. Van Loo: 1993, 'Business Students' and Practitioners' Ethical Decisions Over Time', Journal of Business Ethics 12, 835-847.Google Scholar
  16. Hollon, C. and T. Ulrich: 1979, 'Personal Business Ethics: Managers vs. Managers-to-Be', Southern Business Review 5 (1979), 17-22.Google Scholar
  17. Kraft, K. and A. Singhapakdi: 1991, 'The Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility in Achieving Organizational Effectiveness: Students Versus Managers', Journal of Business Ethics 10, 679-686.Google Scholar
  18. Krugman, D. and D. Ferrell: 1981, 'The Organizational Ethic of Advertising: Corporate and Agency Views', Journal of Advertising 10(1), 21-30.Google Scholar
  19. Lord, A. T. and K. B. Melvin: 1997, 'The Attitudes of Accounting Students, Faculty, and Employers Toward Cheating', in L. Ponemon (ed.), Research on Accounting Ethics, Vol. 3 (JAI Press Inc., New York), pp. 1-20.Google Scholar
  20. Magner, D.: 1989, 'Students Urge Graduate Business Schools to Emphasize Ethical Behavior and Require Courses in Standards', The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 29), A31-A32.Google Scholar
  21. Miesing, P. and J. Preble: 1985, 'A Comparison of Five Business Philosophies', Journal of Business Ethics 4, 465-476.Google Scholar
  22. Nazario, S. L.: 1990, 'Schoolteachers Say It's Wrongheaded to Try to Teach Students What's Right', The Wall Street Journal, B1, B8.Google Scholar
  23. Newstrom, J. and W. Ruch: 1976, 'The Ethics of Business Students: Preparation for a Career', AACSB Bulletin (April), 21-29.Google Scholar
  24. Peterson, R., R. Beltramini and G. Kozmetsky: 1991, 'Concerns of College Students Regarding Business Ethics: A Replication', Journal of Business Ethics 10, 733-738.Google Scholar
  25. Sims, R., H. Cheng and H. Teegen: 1996, 'Toward a Profile of Student Software Piraters', Journal of Business Ethics 15, 839-849.Google Scholar
  26. Stanga, K. and R. Turpen: 1991, 'Ethical Judgment on Selected Accounting Issues: An Empirical Study', Journal of Business Ethics 10, 739-747.Google Scholar
  27. Stevens, G.: 1984, 'Business Ethics and Social Responsibility: The Response of Present and Future Managers', Akron Business and Economic Review 15, 6-11.Google Scholar
  28. Stevens, R., O. Harris and S. Williamson: 1993, 'A Comparison of Ethical Evaluations of Business School Faculty and Students: A Pilot Study', Journal of Business Ethics 12, 611-619.Google Scholar
  29. Tslakis, J. and D. Fritzsche: 1989, 'Business Ethics: A Literature Review with a Focus on Marketing Ethics', Journal of Business Ethics 8, 695-743.Google Scholar
  30. Tyson, T.: 1990, 'Believing that Everyone Else is Less Ethical: Implications for Work Behavior and Ethics Instruction', Journal of Business Ethics 9, 715-521.Google Scholar
  31. Tyson, T.: 1992, 'Does Believing that Everyone Else is Less Ethical have an Impact on Work Behavior?', Journal of Business Ethics 11, 707-717.Google Scholar
  32. White, C. and R. Dooley: 1993, 'Ethical or Practical: An Empirical Study of Students' Choices in Simulated Business Scenarios', Journal of Business Ethics 12, 643-651.Google Scholar
  33. Wood, J., J. Longenecker, J. McKinney and C. Moore: 1988, 'Ethical Attitude of Students and Business Professionals: A Study of Moral Reasoning', Journal of Business Ethics 7, 249-257.Google Scholar
  34. Zastrow, C.: 1970, 'Cheating Among College Graduate Students', Journal of Educational Research 64(4), 157-160.</del>Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raef A. Lawson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BusinessThe University at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations