Student Cheating Habits: A Predictor Of Workplace Deviance

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Sharron M. Graves


ethics, behavior, workplace deviance, cheating


Unethical behavior seems to be increasing exponentially in every facet of today’s business environment.  Property and production deviance are just two of the unethical behaviors exhibited by employees.  According to a study conducted by S. Nonis and C. Swift (2001), students who engage in dishonest acts in college classes are more likely to engage in dishonest acts in the workplace.  Research conducted during the three year period 2002 - 2005 by Don McCabe in conjunction with The Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University reveals that 70 percent of the 50,000 undergraduate students surveyed admit to some cheating (McCabe 2005).  This article reports the results of a student survey documenting the self-reported cheating habits of business and non-business majors and their reported involvement in deviant activities in the workplace.  The research indicates that a higher percentage of non-business majors report cheating on tests and homework than business majors and students who cheat in high school and/or college are more likely to engage in certain deviant behaviors in the workplace.  In addition, the article also compares the percentage of students engaging in property and production deviance with the results of an earlier study by R. C. Hollinger and J. P. Clark examining workplace deviance among employees in the retail sector. 


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