Whistle-Blowing in the Classroom: The Influence of Students’ Perceptions of Whistleblowers
This study surveyed 309 business students (180 men and 129 women) enrolled in introductory accounting and business law classes on various aspects of honesty in academics. The study examines students’ perceptions of whistleblowers and whether these perceptions associate with their intentions to blow the whistle if they observe cheating. When examining a student’s intent to blow the whistle, we considered students’ prior cheating behavior, gender, social desirability response bias, intentions to cheat in the future, perceptions of whistleblowers, and prior blowing the whistle. Our research indicates that students who had blown the whistle in the past and/or had positive perceptions of whistleblowers were more likely to blow the whistle in the future. Knowing a student who regularly cheats, or having observed a student cheating, reduced the probability of blowing the whistle in the future. Finally, students who have cheated on a minor examination were also less likely to blow the whistle in the future.
KeywordsUnethical Behavior Positive Perception Academic Dishonesty Cheat Behavior Desirable Manner
The authors wish to thank Marc Julien and Jeffrey Mullany for their assistance in an earlier version of this research.
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