Prevalence of and penalties for academic dishonesty: Perceptions of Australian accounting students
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The accounting profession has been highly scrutinised in recent years, following a string of high profile collapses that have raised serious questions about the ethical conduct of the accountants involved. At the same time, the academic literature suggests that changing attitudes toward what constitutes acceptable behaviour in the business world has been a contributory factor toward a decline in student honesty, particularly with respect to business students (Lane & Schaupp, 1989). Others argue that this will, in turn, lead to lower standards in the future as today's students carry these attitudes into their future professional careers (Lawson, 2004; Grimes, 2004). This study surveys 1194 students at four major Queensland universities in relation to the prevalence, perceptions and reporting of academic misconduct. We find that there is a significant degree of academic misconduct being perpetrated, with one in four students engaging in at least one form of academic misconduct, yet very little of this is being reported. We further find that accounting students exhibit a higher tolerance than non-accounting students for some of the more serious forms of academic misconduct, which translates into a higher preparedness to engage in such behaviour.
2005 AFAANZ Conference Proceedings
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