Classroom cheating: Reasons not to whistle-blow and the probability of whistle-blowing
Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
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 was motivated by the need to examine the underlying issues associated with students' perceptions of cheating and whistle-blowing. An increased understanding of these perceptions would be insightful to professors as well as administrators. The study examines students' reasons on whether they should whistle-blow and whether their reasons associate with their intentions to whistle-blow if they observe cheating. When examining a student's intent to whistleblow, we considered the student's prior cheating behavior, gender, social desirability response bias, intentions to cheat in the future, reasons not to whistle-blow, and prior whistle-blowing. Our data extends prior research by considering the reasons students choose not to whistle-blow. Our research indicates that the number of reasons not to whistle-blow and having observed other students cheating reduced the likelihood of a student whistle-blowing, after controlling for social desirability response bias. The research indicates that to prevent unethical behavior in the future, institutions need to enforce consequences for those who cheat because unethical behavior at the academic level associates with unethical behavior in the corporate setting. © 2012 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Bernardi, R., Larkin, M., LaBontee, L., Lapierre, R., & Morse, N. (2012). Classroom cheating: Reasons not to whistle-blow and the probability of whistle-blowing. Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, 16, 201-231. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1574-0765(2012)0000016011