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Corruption is a serious problem in Mexico and the available information regarding the levels of academic dishonesty in Mexico is not very encouraging. Academic integrity is essential in any teaching-learning process focussed on achieving the highest standards of excellence and learning. Promoting and experiencing academic integrity within the university context has a twofold purpose: to achieve the necessary learnings and skills to appropriately perform a specific profession and to develop an ethical perspective which leads to correct decision making. The objective of this study is to explore the relationship between academic integrity and ethical behaviour, particularly workplace behaviour. The study adopts a quantitative, hypothetical and deductive approach. A questionnaire was applied to 1203 college students to gather information regarding the frequency in which they undertake acts of dishonesty in different environments and in regards to the severity they assign to each type of infraction. The results reflect that students who report committing acts against academic integrity also report being involved in dishonest activities in other contexts, and that students who consider academic breaches less serious, report being engaged in academic misconduct more frequently in different contexts. In view of these results, it is unavoidable to reflect on the role that educational institutions and businesses can adopt in the development of programmes to promote a culture of academic integrity which: design educational experiences to foster learning, better prepare students to fully meet their academic obligations, highlight the benefits of doing so, prevent the severity and consequences of dishonest actions, discourage cheating and establish clear and efficient processes to sanction those students who are found responsible for academic breaches.
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O R I G I N A L A R T I C L E Open Access
Impact of academic integrity on workplace
ethical behaviour
Jean Gabriel Guerrero-Dib
1*
, Luis Portales
1
and Yolanda Heredia-Escorza
2
* Correspondence: jean.guerrero@
udem.edu.mx
1
Universidad de Monterrey, Av.
Ignacio Morones Prieto 4500, 66238
San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo
León, Mexico
Full list of author information is
available at the end of the article
Abstract
Corruption is a serious problem in Mexico and the available information regarding the
levels of academic dishonesty in Mexico is not very encouraging. Academic integrity is
essential in any teaching-learning process focussed on achieving the highest standards
of excellence and learning. Promoting and experiencing academic integrity within the
university context has a twofold purpose: to achieve the necessary learnings and skills
to appropriately perform a specific profession and to develop an ethical perspective
which leads to correct decision making. The objective of this study is to explore the
relationship between academic integrity and ethical behaviour, particularly workplace
behaviour. The study adopts a quantitative, hypothetical and deductive approach. A
questionnaire was applied to 1203 college students to gather information regarding
the frequency in which they undertake acts of dishonesty in different environments
and in regards to the severity they assign to each type of infraction. The results reflect
that students who report committing acts against academic integrity also report being
involved in dishonest activities in other contexts, and that students who consider
academic breaches less serious, report being engaged in academic misconduct more
frequently in different contexts. In view of these results, it is unavoidable to reflect on
the role that educational institutions and businesses can adopt in the development of
programmes to promote a culture of academic integrity which: design educational
experiences to foster learning, better prepare students to fully meet their academic
obligations, highlight the benefits of doing so, prevent the severity and consequences
of dishonest actions, discourage cheating and establish clear and efficient processes to
sanction those students who are found responsible for academic breaches.
Keywords: Academic integrity, Academic misconduct, Higher education, Workplace
behaviour, Work environment, Compliance, Ethics, Latin America, Mexico
Introduction
Corruption and dishonesty are deeply rooted problems and have a long history in many
countries and communities and Mexico is no exception. There is usually more attention
given to corrupt activities perpetrated by government authorities and public officers. The
fact that many of these instances of corruption are carried out with the collusion of
private sector businesses and individuals is largely ignored. Private citizens themselves are
usually involved in corrupt activities where they can gain a personal benefit through the
abuse of their position of power or authority (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka 2016).
Rose-Ackerman and Palifka (2016) affirm that personal ethical standards are one of
the three categories of causes that promote corruption. This moral compassdevelops
© The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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indicate if changes were made.
International Journal fo
r
Educational Integrity
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2
https://doi.org/10.1007/s40979-020-0051-3
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
through a long and complex educational process which starts at home and, we could
say, ends with death. Education becomes one of the key elements in the global strategy
for the promotion of a culture of integrity and the fight against corruption. It is difficult
to think that education can contribute efficiently if the phenomenon of academic
dishonesty exists within the educational sphere. To develop a moral compass, it is not
enough to know what has to be done, it is essential to do good (Amilburu 2005).
In almost every educational system in the world, it is a widely held view that all
people must receive mandatory basic education, thus, almost all children and youths
are subject to experience -or not experience- academic integrity during their education,
a period that is long enough to develop habits. Daily behaviours during these mainly
formative years may be considered as the standard that can perpetuate itself over time
(Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo 2015).
In addition to the work carried out by the basic educational system, the university
must fully form and develop the moral vision and purpose of its students, since it is
not possible to consider professional education separate from ethical formation. Being
a professional must include not only mastery of technical, practical and/or theoretical
competencies, but also personal integrity and ethical professional behaviour that helps
to give an ethical meaning to all university endeavours (Bolívar 2005). In so doing, academic
integrity is necessary to learn and an essential requirement of academic quality.
Academic integrity is much more than avoiding dishonest practices such as copying
during exams, plagiarizing or contract cheating; it implies an engagement with learning
and work which is well done, complete, and focused on a good purpose learning. It
also involves using appropriate means, genuine effort and good skills. Mainly it implies
diligently taking advantage of all learning experiences. From this perspective, experien-
cing and promoting academic integrity in the university context has a twofold purpose:
achieving the learning intended to develop the necessary competencies and skills for a
specific profession and, more importantly, developing an ethical perspective for prin-
cipled decision making applicable to any context (Bolívar 2005).
Orosz et al. (2018) identified a strong relationship between academic dishonesty and the
level of corruption of a country. Other studies (Blankenship and Whitley 2000; Harding
et al. 2004;Laduke2013;NonisandSwift2001;Sims1993) demonstrate that students
who engage in dishonest activities in the academic context, particularly undergraduate
students, are more likely to demonstrate inappropriate behaviours during their profes-
sional life and vice versa.
From this point of view one can say that: the individual who is used to cheating in
college, has a higher probability of doing so in the professional and work fields (Harding
et al. 2004; Payan et al. 2010;Sims1993).
Taking these studies in other parts of the world as a reference, the objective of the
current work is to determine the relationship between the most frequent academic
dishonesty practices, or lack of academic integrity amongst college students, and their
predisposition to demonstrate ethical behaviour at work and in their daily lives within
the Mexican context.
This research paper is divided into four sections. The first one presents a brief review
of literature on academic integrity, academic dishonesty and its relationship with work-
place ethical behaviour. The second section presents the methodology followed during
the study, considering the design and validation of the instrument, data gathering, and
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the generation of academic dishonesty and ethical behaviour indexes. The third section
shows the results of the analysis and its discussion. The last section displays a series of
conclusions for the research presented, as well as its limitations and scope.
Literature review
Academic integrity
According to Bosch and Cavallotti (2016), the term integrity has four common elements
that are included in the different ways to describe it: justice, coherence, ethical principles
and appropriate motivation. Thus, a definition in accordance to this concept would be to
act with justice and coherence, following ethical principles and a motivation focused on
good purposes. In the educational context, academic integrity could be understood as the
habit of studying and carrying out academic work with justice and coherence, seeking to
learn and to be motivated by the service that this learning can provide others. However,
there has been a wide variety of interpretations about this concept (Fishman 2016).
The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), conceptualizes academic
integrity as a series of basic principles which are the foundation for success in any
aspect of life and represent essential elements that allow achievement of the necessary
learning which enable the future student to face and overcome any personal and pro-
fessional challenges (International Center for Academic Integrity 2014).
Academic integrity is considered a fundamental quality for every academic endeavour,
essential in any teaching-learning process focused on achieving the highest standards of
excellence and learning and thus, it must represent a goal to which every academic institu-
tion, seriously engaged in quality, must aspire to (Bertram-Gallant 2016). Enacting academic
integrity means taking action with responsibility, honesty, respect, trust, fairness, and courage
in any activity related to academic work and avoiding any kind of cheating or dishonest
action even when the work is especially difficult (International Center for Academic Integrity
2014).
The current approaches to academic integrity provide ideas offering a conceptual frame-
work, but there is still the need to specify concrete academic integrity behaviours character-
istic of students such as: speaking the truth, complying with classes and assignments,
carrying out activities by their own efforts, following the instructions given, providing
answers on exams with only the material approved, citing and giving credit to otherswork,
and collaborating fairly during teamwork assignments (Hall and Kuh 1998; Von Dran et al.
2001). To these observablebehaviours we must add a condition: that they must be pre-
ceded by the desire to learn in order to call them genuine manifestations of academic integ-
rity (Olt 2002;Sultana2018).
Despite the importance of the academic integrity concept, in most cases it is common
to find an explanation of the concept in more negative terms that refers to behaviours
that should be avoided. The general idea expressed in most honor codes is that aca-
demic integrity is to do academic work avoiding dishonesty, fraud or misconduct.
Dishonesty and academic fraud
Stephens (2016) argues that the problem of cheating is endemic and is at the root of
human nature, thus it should not be surprising that it occurs. It is a strategy, conscious
or not, used by humans to solve a problem. However, recognizing that cheating has
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always existed should not foster a passive and pessimistic attitude since human beings
have a conscience that enables them to discern ethical behaviours from those that are
not.
Understanding the phenomenon of dishonesty is important since the strategies used
to try to counteract it will depend on this. For example, if dishonesty is considered a
genetic disorder that some people suffer, the way to deal with it would be to identify
those who suffer from it, supervise them, segregate them and/or try to treatthem. If
it is a common deficiency that everyone experiences to a greater or smaller degree,
other kinds of tactics should be used to counteract it (Ariely 2013).
In general terms, there are different types of academic dishonesty that may be
grouped into four major categories:
Copying. Copying or attempting to copy from a classmate during an examination
or assessment.
Plagiarism. Copying, paraphrasing or using another authors ideas without citing or
giving the corresponding credit to them.
Collusion. Collaboration with someone elses dishonesty, and includes not reporting
dishonest actions which have been witnessed. The most representative actions of
this type of misconduct are: submitting assignments on behalf of classmates,
allowing others to copy from you during an exam and including the names of
people who did not participate in teamwork assignments or projects.
Cheating. Among the most common actions in this category we find: using notes,
technology or other forbidden materials during an exam; including non-consulted
references; inventing or making up data in assignments or lab reports; contract
cheating; distributing or commercializing exams or assignments; submitting apoc-
ryphal documents; impersonating another students identity; stealing exams; altering
grades; bribing individuals to improve grades.
The list is not exhaustive since it does not include every possible type of dishonesty.
Every situation creates unique circumstances and different nuances so it should not
be surprising that the emergence of newways to threaten academic integrity arise
(Bertram-Gallant 2016). Studentscreativity and the continual development of tech-
nology will cause different manifestations of academic fraud (Gino and Ariely 2012), a
fact that has been documented in university contexts in the past.
The results of recent research show that 66% of students have engaged in some type
of academic misconduct at least once during their university education (Lang 2013).
There are similar results in other studies carried out around the world. In the Mexican
case, 84% of students in a Mexican university have witnessed a dishonest action during
their education (UDEM 2018), and 6 out of 10 at another university have engaged in
some kind of copying (UNAM 2013). In Colombia, a private university reported that
63% of the students accepted the addition of the name of a classmate that did not
collaborate actively on a team assignment (EAFIT 2016). In England, half of the
students would be willing to buy an assignment (Rigby et al. 2015). In Ukraine, 82% of
students have used non-authorized support during exams (Stephens et al. 2010). While
in China, 71% of students at one university admit to having copied a homework assign-
ment from his/her classmates (Ma et al. 2013).
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Academic dishonesty and its relationship with the lack of ethical professional behaviour
Establishing a relationship between the level of corruption in a country and the level of
academic dishonesty in its educational institutions is a difficult task to carry out since
fraud and corruption have many different forms and causes, particularly in complex
contexts such as the social dynamics of a country (International Transparency 2017).
However, it can be established that academic dishonesty is a manifestation of a culture
in which it is easy and common to break rules and where integrity is not as valued as it
should be. Under this logic, it is possible to establish a certain relationship between a
poor civic culture and academic dishonesty (García-Villegas et al. 2016).
This poor civic culture tends to be reflected in the daily activities of the citizens,
particularly within organizations, where a relationship between students who cheat and
unethical behaviour in the workplace has been identified (Winrow 2015). From this
point of view, integrity and ethical behaviour, expressed in different terms such as deci-
sion making, conflict resolution or accountability, is one of the competencies most
requested by employers (Kavanagh and Drennan 2008) and one of the critical factors
needed to efficiently develop inter-organizational relationships of trust (Connelly et al.
2018). This is the reason behind the study, the understanding of this relationship.
A study carried out with 1051 students from six North American universities
concluded that students who considered academic dishonesty as acceptable tended to
engage in such activities and the same individuals tended to show unethical behaviour
later during their professional lives (Nonis and Swift 2001). In another study with
Engineering students, it was found that those who self-reported having engaged in
dishonest actions, also carried it out in the professional field, which suggests that
unethical behaviour shown at the college level continued into professional life (Harding
et al. 2004). Findings of another study carried out at a nursing school demonstrated
that students who showed academic dishonesty had a greater incidence of dishonest
behaviour once they worked as health professionals (Laduke 2013).
In a study carried out with 284 psychology students who reported having engaged in
some kind of academic dishonesty, specifically having copied during exams and lying in
order to meet their obligations during their college education, also reported participat-
ing in actions considered illegal or unethical within the context of the research, specif-
ically those related to substance abuse - alcohol and drugs, risky driving, lying and
other sort of illegal behaviours. This data suggests that, besides the contextual factors,
there are also individual causes such as attitudes, perceptions and personality traits that
can influence the individuals behaviour in different aspects of their lives (Blankenship
and Whitley 2000).
In one of the most recent studies, where data from 40 countries was collected, a
strong relationship was identified between the self-reporting copying in examsof the
student population and the level of corruption of the country, expressed in the corrup-
tion perception index published by Transparency International (Orosz et al. 2018).
Despite the increase in the number of studies related to academic integrity and eth-
ical behaviour in the companies in different parts of the world since the 1990s, it has
not been possible to identify any research in Mexico that explores the relationship
between the ethical behaviour of an individual in his/her different life stages, as a
college student and as a professional; or to put it differently, between academic integ-
rity and ethical performance in the workplace.
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Methodology
This study followed a quantitative approach under a hypothetic - deductive approach.
Since there is no suitable instrument available that explores the relationship between
academic integrity and ethical behaviour, one designed for this study was used. It was
based on questions from previous research instruments.
The International Center for Academic Integrity(ICAI) perception survey, created
by Donald McCabe and applied to more than 90,000 students in the United States and
Canada (McCabe 2016) was adapted with the addition of a section of questions related
to personal and workplace ethical behaviour.
The McCabe survey (2016) consists of 35 questions that can be grouped into four
sections. The first one explores the characteristics of the academic integrity
programme, the educational atmosphere in general and the way in which the commu-
nity is informed and trained in regards to current regulations. The second one requests
information about the studentsbehaviour. It specifically asks about the frequency with
which students are involved in dishonest activities at the moment and in previous
academic levels, how severe they considered each kind of misconduct and their percep-
tion in regards to the level of peer participation in actions against integrity. The third
section collects the opinions of the students regarding different statements related to
academic work, faculty and studentsengagement in the development of an academic
integrity culture, strategies to fight dishonesty, the degree of social approval towards
academic fraud, its impact and the perception of fairness in managing the cases of
misconduct. The last group included demographic questions that contained basic infor-
mation about the person answering the survey. The students were asked to provide their
age, gender, marital status, nationality, place of residence, accumulated grade point aver-
age (GPA), programme he/she studies and the number of years at the university.
A section was added to this survey (Additional file 1) addressing the professional eth-
ical behavioural construct. In this section, items from questionnaires described in
Table 1were used; all related to self-reporting of ethical behaviour. An additional valid-
ation was carried out for this instrument section through the assessment of experts
from the internal control area of different companies and industries.
Except for a couple of open questions, the rest of the items used responses built
under a five-point Likert scale to categorize their judgments in regards to the state-
ments suggested. There are two types of responses used specifically: from totally agree
Table 1 Questionnaires and instruments used to address workplace ethical behaviour
Instrument Author(s)
Questionnaire to measure behavior deviations Blankenship and Whitley (2000)
Questionnaire on behaviors considered dishonest
in the workplace.
Sims (1993), used also by Nonis and Swift (2001)
Frequency Table for students who considered
engaging dishonest actions in their environment
Harding et al. (2004)
Table of attitudes in favor of ethical behavior in a
non-academic context
Lawson (2004)
Competency descriptors for Ethics and Values
and Integrity and Trustfrom the group
Character and Behavior with Honor
Lombardo and Eichinger (2009)
Source: Created by the authors
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to totally disagree about the perceptions and opinions; and always or never in the case
of self-reported behaviours.
The responses were recorded automatically in the data base of the SurveyMonkey
technology tool and values were assigned to each one of the responses in order to
calculate an index per response, assigning a value of 5 to Totally agreeand 1 to
Totally disagreein a positive or favorable statement, and vice-versa, 1 and 5 respect-
ively, in a negative or unfavorable statement.
The sample considers 1203 undergraduate and graduate students from a private
university in northern Mexico who chose to respond to their professorsinvitations to
answer the survey as part of a diagnostic exercise that the university carries out period-
ically to learn about the studentsperceptions regarding the degree of academic integ-
rity culture on their campus. The participants were 51% women and 49% men. From
them, 31% were in their first year, 25% the second year, 26% the third year, 11% the
fourth year and only 7% had been studying for five or more years. Nearly 70% of the
students still lived in their parentshomes and 42% reported having a good or outstand-
ing average grade (higher than 80 over 100).
Once the data was collected, the internal validation of the instrument was done and
indexes were generated for each one of the variables introduced into the model,
through a factorial analysis of the main components. This type of analysis studies the
relationship between a set of indicators or variables observed and one or more factors
related to the research to obtain evidence and thus, validate the theoretical model (Hay-
ton et al. 2004).
In order to define the indexes related to academic fraud and ethical behaviour there
were three factorial analyses carried out, which took as selection criteria eigenvalues
higher than one and varimax component rotation with the purpose to maximize the
variances explained for each response and identify the items that represented the
factors identified by the analysis itself in a linear way (Thompson 2004).
The first analysis considered questions related to the level of frequency with which
specific dishonest actions were carried out. It included 27 items or questions in total,
and five components accounted for 66.33% of the variance, with a KMO (Kaiser, Meyer
and Olkin) of 0.955 and being significant for the Bartletts sphericity test, a fact that
shows the internal consistency of the indicator and its statistical validity. The five com-
ponents were classified according to the weight that each question had in the rotated
and stored components matrix such as regression variables to generate an indicator for
each of them (Table 5 in Appendix). These indicators were defined as frequency in: 1)
cheating in general, 2) copying in any way, 3) falsifying information, 4) using unauthorized
support, and 5) plagiarizing or paraphrasing without citing.
The second analysis took the same criteria of the latter, but it only included the 27 ques-
tions related to how severe the misconduct or academic dishonesty was considered. The
result was three components that accounted for 67.66% of the variance observed, with a
KMO of 0.962 and the Bartletts sphericity test was significant. The rotated components
were classified and kept as a regression to generate three indicators, related to the
perceived severity of: 1) cheating in general, 2) plagiarizing or copying and paraphrasing
without citing, and 3) using unauthorized support (Table 6in Appendix).
The third factorial analysis included the 47 questions related to the behaviour or eth-
ical attitude of the respondents. This analysis generated six components that accounted
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for 64.54% of the variance observed, a KMO of 0.963 and the Bartletts sphericity test
was significant. When analyzing the components generated by the analysis, it was
observed that four of them had only two questions with a weight greater than 0.4 in
the rotated component matrix. Considering this situation, it was decided to eliminate
these questions and a new factorial analysis was carried out considering only 39 ques-
tions. The result was two main components that accounted for 58.66% of the variance
observed, with a KMO of 0.965 and the Bartletts sphericity test was significant. The
two components were classified into two indicators: 1) workplace ethical behaviour
and, 2) personal ethical behaviour (Table 7in Appendix).
Once the indicators for frequency and perceived severity of dishonesty or academic
fraud, as well as those related to the behaviour or self-reported ethical attitude (work-
place and personal) were generated, a linear regression analysis was carried out to
determine how academic dishonesty influences a specific ethical behaviour.
Results
The linear regression analysis took as dependent variables the ones related to ethical be-
haviour self-reported by the respondents, and the frequency and severity of the academic
dishonesty acts reported by the respondents as the independent variables. This analysis
was carried out in two stages; the first one considered only the variable of the frequency
with which academic dishonesty was reported, and the second one considered the vari-
ables related to the severity with which the respondents perceived these actions.
The first analysis took as independent variables the frequency of each component of
self-reported academic misconduct: cheating in general, copying in any way, falsifying
information, using unauthorized support, and plagiarizing or paraphrasing without cit-
ing. The result of the model was significant for the case of workplace ethical behaviour
(sig. = 0.001), accounting for only 3.4% of the variance observed (Table 2). In terms of
analysis by variables, it was found that only the frequency of carrying out any kind of
cheating, and copying in any way, had a significant impact on the workplace ethical
behaviour of the respondents. The negative coefficient in both cases shows that a
frequency reduction in academic misconduct, increased the self-reported workplace
ethical behaviour (Table 2). The variables for falsifying information, using unauthorized
support and plagiarizing didnt show significance.
In terms of personal ethical behaviour, the model proved significant (sig. = 0.000)
explaining 9% of the variance (Table 2) thus it may be stated that the severity of
academic dishonesty influences personal ethical behaviour. In regards to the impact
Table 2 Results between frequency variables of academic dishonesty and ethical behaviour
Workplace Ethical Behaviour Personal Ethical Behaviour
CNE CE Sig. R2 CNE CE Sig. R2
Cheating in general 0.153 0.149 0.001 0.034 0.204 0.198 0.000 0.090
Copying in any way 0.112 0.102 0.026 0.148 0.135 0.002
Falsifying information 0.058 0.058 0.206 0.148 0.148 0.001
Using unauthorized support 0.042 0.041 0.370 0.022 0.022 0.624
Plagiarizing or paraphrasing
without citing
0.071 0.068 0.133 0.123 0.119 0.007
CNE Non-standardized coefficients, CE Standardized coefficients, Sig. Significance, R2 Adjusted R squared
Source: Created by the authors
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Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
level that the variables have on personal ethical behaviour, we found that only using
unauthorized support did not prove significant. The remaining variables were signifi-
cant and with negative coefficients, thus we may conclude that the lower the frequency
of academic dishonesty reported by the respondents, the higher the reported personal
ethical behaviour. In this sense, the variable of cheating in general had a greater weight
in this kind of behaviour, followed by falsifying information and lastly plagiarizing.
The obtained results indicate that engaging in academic dishonesty with a greater fre-
quency is directly and negatively related to the respondents ethical behaviour and attitude.
Therefore, it can be assumed that discouraging students from carrying out academic dishon-
esty will have a positive effect on their ethical behaviour, both in the work context as well as
in their daily lives. In the same way, it was also found that respondents who performed aca-
demic dishonest activities less frequently, tended to have better ethical behaviour in general.
It is interesting to observe that the model does little to explain workplace ethical be-
haviour and that only the variable of cheating in general and copying had significant
impacts on this behaviour. While in the case of personal ethical behaviour, academic
dishonesty practices occurred more frequently and only the use of unauthorized
support had no significant impact. This situation allows us to assume that academic
dishonesty practices have a greater impact on daily ethical behaviour but less so in the
workplace. This situation can be explained by the fact that organizations have codes of
ethics and programmes which guide actions to be carried out by their personnel that
are based on specific ethical and moral rules of conduct.
The second regression analysis took as independent variables the ones related to the
perceived severity of the respondents in regards to cheating in general, copying and
plagiarizing, and using unauthorized support. As in the previous case, the dependent
variables were the ones related to the behaviour or ethical attitude in the workplace
and in personal contexts. In regards to the workplace, we found that the model proved
significant (sig. = 0.000), explaining 10% of the variance observed (Table 3). Despite this
result, the variable analysis showed that only the cheating in general variable had a sig-
nificant impact on such behaviour with a positive coefficient, which means that the
greater the perceived severity of the misconduct, the better the ethical behaviour within
the organization.
In the case of personal ethical behaviour, the model also proved significant (sig. =
0.001), explaining only 5% of the variance observed in the indicator. In the case of
workplace ethical behaviour, only the perceived severity of cheating in general variable
had a significant impact on personal ethical behaviour. The positive coefficient of this
variable enables us to establish that when any type of cheating was rated as severe,
respondents tended to have better personal ethical behaviour (Table 3).
Table 3 Results between severity variables of academic dishonesty and ethical behaviour
Workplace Ethical Behaviour Personal Ethical Behaviour
CNE CE Sig. R2 CNE CE Sig. R2
Cheating in general 0.311 0.323 0.000 0.100 0.218 0.239 0.000 0.050
Plagiarizing, copying and paraphrasing
without citing
0.032 0.032 0.575 0.039 0.041 0.484
Using unauthorized support 0.086 0.093 0.105 0.025 0.028 0.633
CNE Non-standardized coefficients, CE Standardized coefficients, Sig. Significance, R2 Adjusted R squared
Source: Created by the authors
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Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
The findings enable us to recognize the impact that the perceived severity towards
cheating in general has on the ethical behaviour of the respondents, since it is the only
variable that proved significant in the model. Hence, the extent to which students
perceived the committing of any kind of cheating within the university as severe, their
behaviour, both inside and outside the workplace, was more ethical.
Additionally, it is interesting to observe that the perception of the severity of cheat-
ing, plagiarizing or using any kind of unauthorized help does not have a significant
impact on the ethical behaviour self-reported by the respondents. Therefore, it can be
assumed that it is not as important to point out the severity of a specific act of aca-
demic dishonesty to influence the ethical behaviour of students and professionals, but
rather to emphasize the severity of the misconduct that is associated with any act of
academic dishonesty.
With the aim to identify the relationship that exists among all the variables of the
model (frequency and severity), a third regression was conducted. This regression
considered as independent variables, workplace ethical behaviour and personal ethical
behaviour, and as dependent variables, the frequency and severity of academic miscon-
duct. Both models, ethical behaviour in the workplace and personal, turned out to be
significant. In the case of the workplace ethical behaviour, it was found that the model
explains 9.1% of the variance of the indicator, while in the case of personal ethical
behaviour, only 7.4% of the variance was explained (Table 4). Based on these results, it
can be concluded that the lack of academic integrity generally affects peoples ethical
behaviour.
It is interesting to note that, in the case of ethical behaviour in the workplace, the
only variable that was significant and positive was the severity of widespread dishon-
esty. That is, those respondents who considered any type of dishonesty as a serious
offense had a greater tendency to be ethical in their workplace. This situation may be
supported by the fact that academic integrity is presented in institutionalized spaces,
such as school, university or business, and where the perception of greater severity
tends to limit unethical behaviour within these institutions or organizations.
On the other hand, personal ethical behaviour was significantly influenced by the var-
iables related to committing any act of academic dishonesty in general (frequency and
Table 4 Results between academic dishonesty and ethical behaviour
Workplace Ethical Behaviour Personal Ethical Behaviour
CNE CE Sig. R2 CNE CE Sig. R2
Frequency - Cheating in general 0.094 0.060 0.333 0.091 0.240 0.161 0.010 0.074
Frequency - Copying in any way 0.075 0.051 0.387 0.028 0.021 0.731
Frequency - Falsifying information 0.029 0.021 0.733 0.158 0.123 0.051
Frequency - Using unauthorized support 0.011 0.010 0.872 0.028 0.029 0.649
Frequency - Plagiarizing or paraphrasing
without citing
0.040 0.038 0.541 0.124 0.125 0.047
Severity - Cheating in general 0.310 0.322 0.000 0.209 0.229 0.000
Severity - Plagiarizing, copying and
paraphrasing without citing
0.045 0.045 0.455 0.009 0.009 0.879
Severity - Using unauthorized support 0.080 0.086 0.179 0.029 0.034 0.602
CNE Non-standardized coefficients, CE Standardized coefficients, Sig. Significance, R2 Adjusted R squared
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2 Page 10 of 18
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
severity). The negative sign in frequency indicates that those who reported hav-
ing committed less academic dishonesty - whichever it may be - have better eth-
ical behaviour on a personal level. In the same way, those who consider that
committing academic dishonesty is something serious, also have a better ethical
behaviour on a personal level. Another variable that was significant was the fre-
quency in plagiarism or paraphrasing without citing, in the personal ethical be-
haviour, being those that had a lower frequency the ones that reported a better
ethical behaviour.
The results of this third regression complement the findings of the first two regres-
sions and allow to evidence the specific weight of considering academic dishonesty as a
serious fault in peoples ethical behaviour.
Discussion
Based on the results generated in the previous section, some reflections and conclu-
sions can be drawn related to academic integrity, academic misconduct, and ethical
behaviour.
The respondentsethical behaviour shows a relationship to the practice of aca-
demic dishonesty, both in terms of the frequency with which they carry out these
acts, as well as the severity they assign to them. The more severe the students con-
sider an act of academic dishonesty, the more ethically they behave outside of the
university. Likewise, it is important to establish measures to discourage or reduce
the number of acts of academic misconduct, since the habitual practice of uneth-
ical actions may promote a normalization of these behaviours, and reduces a stu-
dents interest in practising ethical behaviours after graduating from college. It is
important to disclose a basic assumption, that a person faces ethical dilemmas first,
in an educational environment and later, in a workplace context. This situation
suggests that, since academic integrity is usually experienced earlier than work-
place ethical behaviour in a persons life, the former may influence the latter.
These results encourage the reflection on the importance of student perceptions
about academic dishonesty and the opportunities they have to act on these dishonest
practices. Interestingly, in terms of perception, students who have developed a con-
science about the severity of any kind of cheating in an academic setting, exhibit a
greater degree of ethical behaviour. Likewise, when a student frequently practices aca-
demic misconduct shows less ethical behaviour within other contexts. These findings
add another reason why higher education institutions should establish systematic pro-
grammes focused on promoting a culture of academic integrity to convince students of
the severity of these unethical actions, to discourage them from committing them and
to punish them if the previous endeavours do not work.
The results of this study suggest that it is not enough to teach academic integrity
in a theoretical or conceptual way, but that it is learned and acquired through real
contexts and practices, where the prevention or discouragement of gaining benefits
through misconduct contributes to student learning and development. This learn-
ing goes beyond the classroom and the university context and becomes an ethical
behavioural pattern in the work and personal environments. Likewise, organiza-
tions should have ethical codes and other elements of a business ethics and
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2 Page 11 of 18
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
compliance programme to foster a culture of integrity and continue the formative
process started within educational institutions.
It can be stated that a part of a professionals ethical behaviour is related to their
awareness of the risks or severity of getting involved in academic dishonesty, as well as
having the opportunity to engage in these acts. For this reason, it is not enough to
convince students of the importance of following integrity criteria, it is also necessary
to create an environment where cheating or deceptions are very difficult to practice. It
is essential that students are convinced to act with integrity during their college years
and that they are made aware of the risks or penalties that come with not doing so.
This will strengthen a positive behavioural pattern in different contexts of their lives,
and encourage them to become ethical professionals, business people, and citizens.
It is essential for higher education institutions to demonstrate a commitment to
building a culture of academic integrity, both in terms of their awareness and their
practice, since through them the ethical behaviour of students and future graduates is
strengthened and forged. In this respect, the university campus is featured as a
favourable environment to train individuals and promote ethical behaviour within and
outside the university, meeting its commitment to the community and the world to develop
more ethical and engaged citizens who do things well in all aspects of their lives.
Conclusions
There has been little research published regarding the relationship of students percep-
tions about their behaviour on academic integrity in schoolwork, and on professional
performance. This study, like the ones identified previously, points out a relationship
that can and should be explored in greater depth. Academic integrity - concept, bene-
fits, strategies - and its counterpart, academic dishonesty - frequency causes, conse-
quences, management - have not received, in México and Latin America, the attention
they have earned in other countries and regions.
Considering that corruption is a major problem afflicting Mexican society and that
academic dishonesty is related one way or another with corruption, it becomes particu-
larly important to understand the academic dishonesty phenomenon in depth.
In order to achieve this, it is necessary to invest resources to identify the strategies
which most effectively promote academic integrity, because doing so, not only prevents
fraud and economic losses, but also builds the foundations of a more humane and fair
society, resulting in a common interest. Viewed from this perspective, academic integ-
rity is not an issue that should be addressed only within educational institutions, but it
should also awaken the interest and the action of the business and production sectors.
Limitations of the research
The instrument used to collect information for this research project was a survey created
with the support of others and thus the questions have only been validated in this
exercise.
It is a self-reporting tool regarding ethical behaviour, that is, it reflects the self-
reported participantsperceptions of themselves and not about their own behaviours.
This situation shows two limitations. The first one is that it does not discuss behaviours
per se, but the perception participants have about them. The second limitation is that
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2 Page 12 of 18
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
the results are subjected to the biases of the same person who self-reports. The results
depend not only on the objectivityof respondents perception but also on the
sincerity with which each question is answered. Despite the prevailing atmosphere of
illegality, it is still desirable to seem somewhat honest to others. Additionally, the
application of the survey was done via an electronic format on the personal devices of
the participants, which can raise suspicions about the true anonymity of the partici-
pantsresponses.
Self-reported surveys leave aside the profound answers related to the causes of corre-
lations found. A qualitative approach to the phenomenon could complement our
results and lead to a more in depth analysis of the relationship between corruption
and/or unethical behaviour and academic dishonesty in the Mexican context.
Another important limitation of the study, derived from its exploratory perspective, is
that the instrument did not consider as a relevant variable the employment situation,
years of work experience or hierarchical level of the respondents. This limitation causes
the self-report of ethical behaviour in the workplace to be presented in a general way
and not with a greater level of depth. However, the results found in this research and
the identification of the relationship between academic integrity and ethical work
behaviour in an exploratory way, open the door for studies where it is sought to deepen
the understanding of this relationship that was identified by this study, as mentioned in
the next section.
Implications for future investigations
As mentioned in the previous section, the following works related to the study of the
academic integrity and ethical behaviour of individuals could point to the confirmation
of the results found in this research. These future studies could be based on the causal
relationships found in this research, which were generated based on the review of the
literature and the assumptions that arise from it. In this sense, the use of structural
equations is necessary as a method of confirmation from a quantitative perspective, as
well as the use of a qualitative approach that contribute to a better understanding of
this phenomenon. This study is a first step towards the realization of scientific research
that demonstrates the impact that efforts to promote academic integrity in universities
have on the ethical behaviour of its students and graduates.
It would be useful to replicate the research by gathering information periodically to
validate the results and/or conduct a longitudinal study that allows monitoring of the
real-timehabits of the different graduating classes over time. Thereby, self-reporting
of what happened at each moment in time would be collected and would enable
researchers to explore different associations.
Many questions still remain unanswered in the Mexican context: What is academic
integrity? How is it experienced? How is it perceived? How is it assessed? What are the
benefits in doing so? What are the most appropriate strategies? What are the levels of
academic dishonesty? Who carries it out? Why do they do it? What are the reasons that
cause it? What is the mindset of people that behaves ethically? What are the reasons
why someone turns out to be more or less ethical? How should it be addressed and
managed? What consequences does it trigger? What role do professors and other
educational stakeholders play? What is the impact of technology?
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2 Page 13 of 18
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Appendix
Table 5 Rotated matrix of the factor analysis for the questions about frequency of the misconduct
or academic dishonesty is considered
Question Cheating in
general
Copying
in any
form
Falsifying
information
Using
unauthorized
support
Plagiarizing or
paraphrasing
without citing
j.My behavior is congruent with my beliefs. 0.836
g.I say the truth. 0.812
k.I recognize my qualities and defects. 0.780
h.Its easy for me to tell the truth. 0.755
r.I try to ensure that each person is treated
fairly, even if is someone that I do not know.
0.727
i.I express what I think and feel without
keeping up appearances.
0.724
a.I keep promises. 0.714
ff. I am persistent to / until reaching my
goals.
0.698
c.People trust me. 0.689
cc. I accept my mistakes and rectify. 0.654
pp. I trust my ability and my own talents. 0.651
l.Being honest is more important than my
personal interests.
0.620
t.I evade taxes. 0.813
y.I give bribes or kickbacks to obtain
benefits.
0.785
u.I get in line (skip places). 0.770
s.I consume piracy products. 0.751
m.I do things just to look good. 0.751
o.I think the end justifies the means. 0.737
nn. I feel bad for other peoples assets,
qualities or achievements.
0.732
z.I speak badly of others. 0.702
mm. I seek my own benefit before others. 0.676
oo. I dedicate time only to the things that
interest me.
0.667
kk. I strive to recognize the needs of others. 0.732
jj. I do favors for others. 0.705
ll. I perform actions seeking the good of
others.
0.629
v.When driving, I respect speed limits. 0.659
w.I comply with the laws that govern my
country.
0.641
x.I treat others with respect. 0.434
ee. I assume consequences for my decisions
and actions.
0.363
p.I return what is not mine. 0.329
qq. I report dishonest actions. 0.763
rr. I do what I must do even when facing
adverse circumstances.
0.566
dd. I analyze prudently the possible
consequences of the different alternatives
for action before making a decision.
0.375
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2 Page 14 of 18
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Table 6 Rotated matrix of the factor analysis for the questions about how severe the misconduct
or academic dishonesty is considered
Question Cheating
in general
Plagiarizing or copying
and paraphrasing
without citing
Using
unauthorized
support
j.Copying from another student during a test or examination
WITHOUT his or her knowledge.
0.857
i.Copying from another student during a test WITH his or
her knowledge.
0.842
u.Using an electronic/digital device as an unauthorized aid
during an exam.
0.831
cc. Cheating on a test in any other way. 0.828
k.Using digital technology (such as text messaging) to get
unpermitted help from someone during a test or
examination.
0.824
f.Helping someone else cheat on a test. 0.820
r.Submitting a paper you purchased or obtained from a
website and claimed it as your own work.
0.789
s.Using unpermitted handwritten crib notes (or cheat sheets)
during a test or exam.
0.786
p.Turning in a paper from a paper mill(a paper written
and previously submitted by another student) and claiming
it as your own work.
0.736
y.Turning in work done by someone else. 0.681
w.Turning in a paper copied, at least in part, from another
students paper, whether or not the student is currently
taking the same course.
0.681
h.Fabricating or falsifying research data. 0.640
q.Paraphrasing or copying a few sentences of material from
an electronic source - e.g., the internet - without footnoting
them in a paper you submitted.
0.783
o.Paraphrasing or copying a few sentences from a book,
magazine, or journal (not electronic or web-based) without
footnoting them in a paper you submitted.
0.780
bb. Using Cliff Notes or Spark Notes and not citing. 0.743
z.Receiving requests from another person (in person or
using electronic means) to copy your homework.
0.663
x.Using a false or forged excuse to obtain an extension on a
due date or delay taking an exam.
0.656
n.Copying (using digital means such as Instant Messaging or
email) another students homework.
0.612
m.Copying (by hand or in person) another students
homework.
0.609
aa. Submitting the same paper in more than one course
without specific permission.
0.565
l.Receiving unpermitted help on an assignment. 0.521
v.Copying material, almost word for word, from any written
source and turning it in as your own work.
0.514
g.Fabricating or falsifying lab data. 0.448
b.Working on an assignment with others (in person) when
the instructor asked for individual work.
0.896
c.Working on an assignment with others (via email or Instant
Messaging) when the instructor asked for individual work.
0.887
a.Fabricating or falsifying a bibliography. 0.417
d.Getting questions or answers from someone who has
already taken a test.
0.305
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2 Page 15 of 18
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Table 7 Rotated matrix of the factor analysis for the questions related with workplace and
personal ethical behaviour
Question Workplace Personal
bb. I use company resources for personal reasons. 0.867
t.I evade taxes. 0.860
aa. I treat collaborators or work peers incorrectly or
abuse verbally (make rude, insulting or shameful comments).
0.857
ii. I reveal confidential information to unauthorized persons. 0.845
n.I distort information in reports or presentations to make
them seem they had a better performance.
0.825
y.I give bribes or kickbacks to obtain benefits. 0.811
f.I call in sick without being so, as an excuse to be absent to
work.
0.810
gg. I make up excuses to avoid meeting my work and
responsibilities.
0.800
ss. I blame others of my own failures or actions. 0.796
tt. I do things even when I think they are incorrect only not
to have a bad image in the eyes of others.
0.793
s.I consume piracy products. 0.788
u.I get in line (skip places). 0.778
z.I speak badly of others. 0.734
m.I do things just to look good. 0.728
hh. I waste time during the work day. 0.722
e.I use unethical strategies to achieve my objectives. 0.717
nn. I feel bad for other peoples assets, qualities or
achievements.
0.705
o.I think the end justifies the means. 0.697
d.I use my position or the information I have to obtain
personal benefits.
0.615
uu. I remain silent before othersfaults and cheating because
of fear for reprisals.
0.571
j.My behaviour is congruent with my beliefs. 0.819
ee. I assume consequences for my decisions and actions. 0.816
r.I try to ensure that each person is treated fairly, even if is
someone that I do not know.
0.814
g.I say the truth. 0.797
q.I give others work credit. 0.788
ff. I am persistent to / until reaching my goals. 0.780
x.I treat others with respect. 0.779
c.People trust me. 0.764
k.I recognize my qualities and defects. 0.757
h.Its easy for me to tell the truth. 0.741
a.I keep promises. 0.727
cc. I accept my mistakes and rectify. 0.720
p.I return what is not mine. 0.710
dd. I analyze prudently the possible consequences of the
different alternatives for action before making a decision.
0.708
ll. I perform actions seeking the good of others. 0.707
l.Being honest is more important than my personal interests. 0.695
i.I express what I think and feel without keeping up
appearances.
0.668
b.Secrets and information are kept confidential. 0.602
Guerrero-Dib et al. International Journal for Educational Integrity (2020) 16:2 Page 16 of 18
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Supplementary information
Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10.1007/s40979-020-0051-3.
Additional file 1. ICAIs Academic Integrity Survey for students (McCabe 2016) plus ethical behaviour.
Abbreviations
CE: Standardized coefficients; CNE: Non-standardized coefficients; ICAI: International Center for Academic Integrity;
KMO: Kaiser, Meyer and Olkin; R2: Adjusted R squared; Sig: Significance
Acknowledgements
We thank Victoria Loncar and Veronica Montemayor for their valuable help English editing the manuscript.
Declarations
We confirm that this work is original and has not been published elsewhere, nor is it currently under consideration for
publication elsewhere.
We will respond promptly to IJEI correspondence regarding reviewer comments, copyeditor revisions and publishing
agreement.
Authorscontributions
G-D designed the study and collected the data, P-D performed the statistical analysis, H-E contributed with results
analysis. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript. All authors read and approved the
final manuscript.
Authorsinformation
G-D. J. is Board Member of the International Center for Academic Integrity and Director of the Center for Integrity and
Ethics at Universidad de Monterrey
Funding
Not applicable
Availability of data and materials
The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on
reasonable request.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Author details
1
Universidad de Monterrey, Av. Ignacio Morones Prieto 4500, 66238 San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, Mexico.
2
Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Av. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, 64849 Monterrey, Nuevo
León, Mexico.
Received: 10 September 2019 Accepted: 26 January 2020
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... Leveraging the socialisation of sharing practices to undermine the frameworks of appropriate use and authorial acknowledgement of the reuse of materials have implications far beyond education. While students bring their societal and educational norms into their learning experiences, and have those norms shaped and sometimes reinforced throughout their studies, they can equally retain those norms when transitioning to work 84 and environments outside of education (Guerrero-Dib et al., 2020). Herein lies the danger that students are not necessarily cognisant or remaining aware of what is and is not appropriate to share and this area warrants further investigation. ...
Book
The first book dedicated to the topic of contract cheating Features an international and interdisciplinary assemblage of scholars working on contract cheating Includes contributions looking to research, explain, detect, and prevent contract cheating
... En el ámbito universitario es un fenómeno complejo que atenta contra la relevancia de la escritura y de la creación académica, el aprendizaje y el desarrollo estudiantil y el cumplimiento de las normas que se fomentan; la formación del recurso humano y profesional de un país; el respeto a la persona creadora de un texto, una idea, un trabajo o una obra por su contribución y el prestigio y credibilidad de la institución educativa, así como el valor de los grados que confiere. El plagio, también, tiene repercusiones en la reputación de la persona que lo comete y, probablemente, en su desempeño futuro (Guerrero-Dib et al., 2020;Nonis y Swift, 2001;Soto Rodríguez, 2012;Whitley, 1998). ...
Article
Full-text available
Los comportamientos asociados con el plagio que comete el estudiantado en universidades en distintos países se han reportado múltiples investigaciones a lo largo del tiempo. Este artículo presenta los resultados de la segunda encuesta transversal realizada en una universidad pública en Puerto Rico para determinar la frecuencia de comportamientos asociados con la deshonestidad académica y, en particular, los de plagio de estudiantes en programas subgraduados. Trescientos sesenta estudiantes contestaron el Cuestionario de Honestidad Académica-Revisado. Se obtuvo la frecuencia y el porcentaje de los comportamientos asociados al plagio admitidos y observados en el estudiantado de la institución. Los tres con mayor frecuencia de admisión fueron: (a) parafrasear o usar ideas o palabras de una persona o fuente, sin indicarla; (b) rellenar una bibliografía con referencias que no fueron consultadas; y (c) copiar literalmente información de algún material impreso, sin citar su autor o autora o indicarlo en una nota al calce u otro lugar del trabajo. Un porcentaje mayor del grupo de estudiantes observó comportamientos asociados al plagio: (a) copiar citas, palabras, frases o párrafos de trabajos impresos, sin indicar la fuente; (b) copiar y pegar en un trabajo escrito frases, oraciones, partes de documentos o páginas copiadas de la Internet, sin indicar la fuente; y (c) elaborar un trabajo escrito usando partes copiadas literalmente de páginas o documentos de la Internet. Al igual que otros estudios, los resultados apuntan a que atribuyen mayor frecuencia a los actos de plagio observados en sus pares; además, recurren tanto a fuentes impresas y de Internet para copiar información, sin indicar la fuente y al autoplagio de trabajos previos.
... Ethical knowledge should be a part of formative education. Equally important is to integrate domain knowledge with an ethical framework, which in fact is the main purpose of academic institutions (Guerrero-Dib et al., 2020). Universities and academic institutions should have a clear ethical mission and a team of champions able and committed to translating the mission into a daily practice of faculty and students (Gallant & Drinan, 2006). ...
Book
Full-text available
Education creates new knowledge and skills necessary for a society’s advancement and transformation by transmitting cultural heritage from one generation to the next and adding innovation to traditional knowledge. The transfer of knowledge and skills takes place tacitly as well as explicitly. The modern education system, symbolized by schools, universities and academies, has evolved to generate and impart knowledge and skills explicitly. This evolution draws as much on the reflections of the past (of traditional education) as on the needs of the present and challenges of the future. While the ancient/traditional system centred around moral education (drawing on traditional customs and religion), at the heart of the modern education system is innovation, which is triggered by the fusion of science and technology under the aegis of educational institutions, primarily universities. Innovation requires new knowledge generated through research that maintains a high degree of academic integrity, a state characterized by a research process that is ‘morally’ or ‘ethically’ right and ‘scientifically’ robust. While a research study sound in academic integrity is believed to produce credible knowledge, a study that compromises academic integrity is doubted to be reliable. Innovative knowledge helps build the human capital that serves as the principal determinant of growth and prosperity. The human resources that are informed of overall sociopolitical contexts and issues and market dynamics are the human capital on which the foundation of economic development rests. Such human resources also serve as a trigger for innovation. How Nepal’s Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) fare in terms of innovative knowledge generation is a matter of public concern. As the centre of research and excellence, they are expected to have an enabling environment. If they are found wanting, they should create one. The research study was undertaken with this curiosity and expectation by situating research practices of HEIs in the history of Nepal’s higher education and the institutional and normative arrangements that have been developed over the decades. Using institutional theory as a conceptual guide, the study aimed to explore how the higher education institutions in Nepal would fare in terms of the research continuum from knowledge generation to dissemination; what factors – ethical, legal, procedural or otherwise – would tolerate academic misconduct, including unethical research practices; and what measures would contribute to creating an enabling environment for ethical academic research. The study concludes that the level of knowledge and understanding of research ethics among researchers and scholars determines the level of their involvement in academically dishonest behaviour. While informed knowledge of research ethics contributes to the institutionalization of research culture, the absence of such knowledge results in dishonesty in research. The study finds a number of cases and inferences of dishonest acts besetting research in Nepal’s HEIs. Research regulatory mechanisms are scattered and short of internationally established frameworks, more so in the case of those dealing with academic integrity. Political influence is perceived to add to the state of legal insufficiency (gap) and contribute to the perpetuation of dishonest behaviour by complicating the implementation of available instruments. Academics, the finding of this study has it, believe that intensive discussions, regular discourse and sharing on various aspects of ethics and integrity can build a robust academic and research culture, in which cheating and dishonest acts find no space. So do students and researchers. However, such educational and awareness opportunities are almost non-existent. This lacking indicates that HEI authorities do not consider a violation of research ethics as a serious issue. Even those in supervisory roles are found not to be serious and sincere in fulfilling their responsibilities. All this has resulted in missed opportunities to build an enabling environment for ethical research. Plagiarism, data fabrication, disingenuous co-authorship and fake ethical approval are some of the unethical practices found to be common in Nepali academia. However, HEIs seem to lack the courage or motivation to investigate such practices and hold those responsible to account. Some allegations have been investigated and responded to. However, the response is not perceived to be enough to deter such practices. Existing recruitment policies and metrics, which focus more on quantity than on quality, are found to dissuade quality graduates from getting on board, and, in so doing, prevent fresh ideas and energies from entering the system that requires such ideas to cross the ‘chasm point’, as it is called in innovation theory, and ensure a paradigm shift in the workings of HEIs To address the issues observed and identified, the study makes the following recommendations to the government of Nepal and HEI authorities. Together, these recommendations offer immediate remedies as well as long-term solutions to the issues involved. a. HEIs should make it mandatory across the board to educate and coach fresh researchers and students about the basics of academic ethics. What constitutes dishonesty, and how to detect and report it should be integral to such education. Faculties and supervisors should, likewise, be reminded of their responsibility to create an ethically sound environment within HEIs they are associated with and trained and refreshed as necessary to enable them to do so. Such education, coaching and sensitization should be part of HEIs’ academic calendar. b. Develop policies, systems and legal instruments to deal with various facets of dishonesty at various levels. Such policies and instruments should be clear, focused and enforceable within the scope of work of the institution concerned. c. Create an environment for the system of meritocracy-based recruitment both for academic and administrative positions. Other considerations, such as political influence and connections, do not enable academia to create the foundation it requires to achieve academic excellence, which all HEIs aspire to. d. Develop a policy promoting zero tolerance against academic dishonesty in each institution. To this end, the practice of peer reporting should be institutionalised, cases of allegations should be investigated with due priority and those found guilty should be held accountable without any favour. e. Establish an autonomous office of academic integrity (OAI) as an apex entity to govern and oversee all ethical issues and complaints of all HEIs and RIs. The OAI should be empowered to operate both preventive and curative measures needed to ensure academic integrity remains inviolable in Nepal. The absence of such a body is widely felt in the continuation of academic malpractices despite public outcry. f. HEIs and RIs should, in close consultation with the OAI, establish for their institution an integrated framework of protocols, rules and regulations in line with internationally accepted research standards and ethics. Existing tools and instruments should be reviewed and updated to ensure their compliance with the integrated framework. Constituent institutions and affiliates should, likewise, build and enforce institute-wide instruments that fit their needs drawing on the integrated framework.
... A great number of research papers confirm (Baird 1980;McCabe and Treviño 1993;McCabe, Treviño and Butterfield 2001;O'Neill and Pfeiffer 2012;Rettinger and Jordan 2005) that business students display unethical behaviour more often during their studies than students in other fields of study. Dishonest behaviour appears to be continuing after graduation in business students' professional lives as well (Crown and Spiller 1998;Granitz and Loewy 2007;Guerrero-Dib, Portales and Heredia-Escorza 2020;Harding, Passow, Carpenter and Finelli 2004;LaDuke 2013;Lawson 2004;Sims 1993). What is considered ethical and unethical behaviour in higher education is not judged unequivocally by different stakeholders. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Academic integrity, a commitment to principles of honesty, respect, fairness, equal opportunities and transparency, is a basic expectation in higher education. Research confirms that business students display unethical behaviour more often than students in other fields of study. Furthermore, dishonest behaviour appears to be continuing in business students' professional lives, too. Educators should take some responsibility for promoting a culture of academic integrity that can be transferred to students' future professional lives. The current paper provides practical examples of how the idea of academic integrity can be incorporated into the learning material.
Book
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We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue.
Article
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The purpose of the article is to explore the faults that exist in the laws governing the appointment of school principals in schools in South Africa. The article advances an argument that there are numerous flaws in the laws that regulate the appointment of school principals in schools. The article will contribute to the revision and strengthening of the laws that are used in the appointment of school principals. Some sections of South African Schools Act 9) SASA regulate the appointment of school principals and are used to militate against the good intentions of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to have the best suitable candidates appointed as school principals. The appointment processes of educators in schools are seen as fraught with fraud and corruption. A report emerged in the year 2016 that the process of selecting candidates for appointment in the Education Sector is riddled with inconsistencies. The report emanated from the probe by a Ministerial Task Team into allegations of selling of teachers’ posts. Principals should be selected by means of experienced panels inclusive of a DBE representative. It was recommended that Cadre Deployment be done away with. The appointment of candidates as principals was supposed to be made purely on the basis of merit in terms of the report.
Article
This paper examines academic dishonesty by business undergraduate students in the United Arab Emirates, using the lens of the fraud diamond theory, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study used a survey of 305 students from the college of business in a major public university in the UAE, from August 2020 to November 2020 to investigate the extent of academic dishonesty. Results revealed H1 (p<0.001; p-value=0.73), H2 (p<0.001; p-value=0.52), H3 (p<0.001; p-value=0.76), and H4 (p<0.001; p-value=0.53) resulting in acceptance of all the hypotheses. The findings indicate that pressure to maintain a scholarship status and having achieved a previous academic award are positively and significantly related to the likelihood of committing academic dishonesty. Furthermore, the rationalization factors of the fraud diamond theory are significantly and positively related to the reported incidences of academic dishonesty. Similarly, the opportunity and capability factors of the fraud diamond theory significantly predict the incidence of cheating. As a result, the study recommends that administrators should implement academic dishonesty codes, reduce the opportunity to cheat, invest in new technology for reducing cheat.
Chapter
Sharing has been socialised as a normal behaviour for student communities and encouraged by social media, yet the practice of openly sharing materials is leading to unintended outcomes in academic and professional contexts. We lack an awareness of how students are using internet-based functionality in ways that are not educationally or ethically sound (Bailey & Withers, Writing 8:176–190, 2018). Students appear to have difficulty in differentiating what is acceptable about personal sharing in social situations is not necessarily ethical or professional in educational or organisational situations, when the materials belong to someone else. Our educational approaches to academic integrity need to expand to develop judgement skills around appropriate file sharing behaviours to counteract academic piracy and better prepare individuals for their working lives beyond university.KeywordsFile sharingAcademic integritySharing behavioursSocial media useAcademic piracy
Article
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Honesty, transparency, and responsibility to the organisation depicts the integrity personality of an officer towards the organisation. Therefore, integrity is one of the components that could drive the development of the organisation to be more progressive and excellent in its specialisation. Various data could be assessed by the management to evaluate the integrity level of its staff, however it is quite difficult for the management to read through all the unstructured data and analyse them without missing any information. Accordingly, this study proposes the development of an analytical integrated technique to assess the integrity level of structured and unstructured data in the form of dashboard to make it easy for the management to analyse their staff’s data. The primary objective of this study is to examine the roles of dashboard as an alternative to visualize integrity data of staff at one higher learning institution in Malaysia. This objective could be achieved by developing a dashboard framework for integrity and generating reports and visualisations in the form of dashboard based on the respective staff. The outcome of the study is the identification of the roles of dashboard and the reporting and visualisation in the form of dashboard for the organisation’s purpose. The potential use of the dashboard system is wide, particularly for organisations that want an integrity framework for their staff information, as well as generating reports and interesting visualisations in the form of dashboard, in line with the needs of the organisation.
Article
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This study discusses the mediating role of statistics anxiety and motivation in the relationship comprising academic dishonesty, personality traits, and previous academic achievements in three different learning environments (Face to Face -F2F, Planned Online Environment – POE, and Emergency Remote Teaching – ERT). Self-determination theory (SDT) provides a broad psychological framework for these phenomena. Data were collected from 649 bachelor-degree students in the Social Sciences in five Israeli academic institutions. Structural equation modelling was employed to investigate the research variables’ relationships. Findings indicate that statistics anxiety mediates the relationship between personality traits and academic dishonesty in the POE and the ERT learning environments. Findings also indicate the relationship between students’ achievements and academic dishonesty, but only in the ERT learning environment. In contrast, motivation mediates the relationship between students’ achievements and statistics anxiety only in the POE learning environment. This study unveils that learning environments determine the mediating role of statistical anxiety. In digital learning environments (POE, ERT), mediation has been found between students’ personality traits and academic dishonesty. No similar parallel mediation could be established in the physical learning environment, F2F. Thus, we conclude that online courses should be designed according to student-centred approaches.
Article
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While much attention has been paid to controversies over free speech and academic freedom related to university campus debates, events, and activities, I demonstrate that higher education is also under threat by the undermining of academic publishing ethics, integrity and standards, as well as what counts as scholarly rigor. The rise of problematic rhetoric and overtures as well as the circumvention of academic publishing standards pose threats to academia writ large, whereby academia is threatened from not just from outside but also from within the academy when some academics themselves participate in the erosion of academic integrity. These new threats have arisen because there are increasing attempts to provide a ‘scholarly’ veneer to what are otherwise hateful ideologies. At a time when there are concerted efforts to decolonize academia, there is concurrent rise of colonial nostalgia and white supremacy among some academics, who are supported by and end up lending support to the escalating far-right movements globally who misuse notions of free speech and academic freedom to further their agendas and attack higher education. Critical scholars thus need to hold accountable fellow academics, academic publishers, and universities in order to protect academic integrity and scholarship in an era when free speech is misused to silence the pursuit of scholarly rigor and ethical engagement. The stakes are high at the current conjuncture and require greater introspection and intervention within academia to counter the dangerous trends of anti-intellectualism, corporatized academia, and colonial violence.
Article
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Previous research suggests a link between academic cheating and corruption. However, no prior empirical studies examined this link with cross-cultural data. The present study aimed to fill this gap and it examined their link by considering cultural values such as in-group collectivism and economic background in terms of GDP per capita. Self-reported data was collected regarding collaborative academic cheating. The database of Transparency International was used for assessing the level of perceived corruption, and the in-group collectivism data was derived from the GLOBE study. Structural equation modeling was used in order to identify their relationship pattern. In the present study, using data from 40 countries, a strong relationship between self-reported academic cheating on exams and the country-level corruption perception index was found. The present results also supported evidence for a strong relationship between collaborative academic cheating and in-group collectivism in a sample comprising 30 countries was found. This link remains significant if GDP per capita, as an indicator of economic development, is controlled. However, path analysis showed that if both GDP per capita and in-group collectivism are considered, the link between corruption and cheating disappeared. These results suggest that GDP per capita as an economy-related background variable and in-group collectivism as a societal value have independent effect on collaborative cheating and perceived corruption and these broader background variables can diminish the strong link between collaborative cheating and perceived corruption.
Article
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REVISTA EMPRESA Y HUMANISMO / VOL XIX / Nº 2 / 2016 / 51-68ISSN:1139-7608 / DOI: 10.15581/015.XIX.2.51-6851Resumen: La integridad es uno de los valores alos que se hace más referencia en el ámbito de la éticade la empresa, y la literatura de los últimos años mues-tra que todos los autores la consideran fundamental.Sin embargo, nos encontramos ante una paradoja: lasreferencias a la integridad son muy numerosas, peronadie explica en qué consiste.Una revisión exhaustiva de la literatura permiteidentificar al menos cuatro rasgos que se repiten, deun modo u otro, en las diversas maneras de compren-der la integridad. Estos cuatro rasgos comunes a lamayoría de los autores son: justicia, coherencia, prin-cipios rectos y recta motivación. Si nos apoyamos en laética de la virtud podemos elaborar una definición deintegridad.Palabras clave:Aristóteles, Integridad, Virtud,Justicia, Coherencia, Principios rectos, Motivación. Is it Possible a Definition of Integrity in the Business Ethics Field?. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305891162_Is_it_Possible_a_Definition_of_Integrity_in_the_Business_Ethics_Field [accessed Jul 09 2018].
Chapter
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Educational settings should be contexts for individual and collective human thriving. One important way in which educational settings affect such thriving is through embedding students in a culture of integrity and involving them in its continuance. Unfortunately, such settings are rare, and the problem of academic dishonesty is long since “pidemic” (Haines et al., 1986). With this in mind, the purpose of the present chapter is to describe a multilevel model of intervention aimed at promoting academic honesty and creating a culture of integrity. Rooted in Cohen and Swift’ (1999) “spectrum of prevention” or other tiered approaches (Lane et al., 2009; Sugai and Horner, 2002), the intervention model presented here consists of three levels: school-wide education, context-specific prevention, and, where needed, individual remediation. Each level is described in detail and concrete examples are provided.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter aims to provide a general overview of the current state of research on the subject of academic integrity (AI) in Colombia, with general reference to Latin America.Firstly, it explains why AI is becoming an important issue in Colombia’s national context and in Latin America’s regional context.Secondly, it refers to studies that have been conducted on AI in Latin America, focusing on those carried out in Colombia.Thirdly, the paper describes some of the government and nongovernmental initiatives that have been implemented in Colombia to promote AI.Finally, in a closing section, it presents some conclusions and attempts to explain the possible link between AI violations and the broader phenomenon of rule breaking in Colombia and Latin America.
Article
Creativity is a common aspiration for individuals, organizations, and societies. Here, however, we test whether creativity increases dishonesty. We propose that a creative personality and creativity primes promote individuals’ motivation to think outside the box and that this increased motivation leads to unethical behavior. In four studies, we show that participants with creative personalities who scored high on a test measuring divergent thinking tended to cheat more (Study 1); that dispositional creativity is a better predictor of unethical behavior than intelligence (Study 2); and that participants who were primed to think creatively were more likely to behave dishonestly because of their creativity motivation (Study 3) and greater ability to justify their dishonest behavior (Study 4). Finally, a field study constructively replicates these effects and demonstrates that individuals who work in more creative positions are also more morally flexible (Study 5). The results provide evidence for an association between creativity and dishonesty, thus highlighting a dark side of creativity.
Chapter
This chapter reviews key findings from a research project into student academic dishonesty conducted over a period of approximately 15 years. The project replicated and extended a large-scale seminal study which was conducted across 99 US campuses in the 1960s Bowers (1964). Over the life of the project, thousands of students have provided self-report data about their own dishonest academic behaviors including those involving various forms of copying, cheating on tests and exams, and fabricating data. Twelve of the 28 behaviors measured in the project were replicated from the Bowers study, enabling comparison of results over approximately half a century. Interestingly, a consistent reduction in reported engagement in dishonest behaviors is seen over time in most of the domains measured. The chapter also provides an overview of the role that honor codes play in many of the participating institutions and the effects of these codes on cheating behavior, as witnessed over the lifetime of the project.
Chapter
This chapter examines the trajectory of the academic integrity movement in the USA, beginning with the early conceptions of academic integrity, based on British higher education models in which ethical and moral lessons were explicitly addressed via specific, denominational religious teachings and compulsory practices that informed the earliest US institutions, and then tracing the development of the uniquely American approaches. Key factors in this development were the increasingly diverse demographics of students as well as the influence of education reformers who pressed for expanding access to higher education, which led to many students arriving at university with an incomplete understanding of the ethical expectations they would face. Additionally, American ideals that place emphasis on individual responsibility and control have led to practices such as honor codes and pledges. The discourse, framing, and descriptive metaphors of academic integrity as moral, legal, and medical issues as well as the shortcomings inherent in these frameworks are noted. Present-day academic integrity controversies are discussed, especially the extent to which academic integrity is exclusively or primarily a matter of individual choice or might instead be better addressed in terms of cultural expectations or systemic issues. A short history of the role of the International Center for Academic Integrity established in 1992 in response to concerns about student cheating is included. The chapter concludes by suggesting that a narrow focus on student cheating is insufficient and that what is needed, instead, is a much broader approach to the development of integrity not only for students but for educators, researchers, educational practices, institutions, and cultures.
Chapter
It may be difficult for some readers to imagine positive approaches to academic integrity. Those who experience this challenge may picture a student cheating when they hear the phrase academic integrity, or they may remember a negative experience they had when confronting a student about a cheating incident. The idea of academic integrity as a positive, as the antithesis to cheating, has been slow to gain as much traction as the inaccurate conception of academic integrity as cheating something to be avoided, confronted, or “dealt with.” This section attempts to remind readers that there not only can be positive approaches to academic integrity, but that academic integrity is, itself, a positive. The authors in this section also attempt to remind readers that academic integrity is positively linked to the broader system or cultures in which academic integrity is located – in individual schools, colleges, and universities; in the educational system; and in society.
Chapter
The idea that character and intellect should be developed in tandem appears to be as old as education itself, as evidenced in proverbs that played a role in the education of scribes in ancient Sumeria (Veldhuis 2000, p. 383). In cultures as diverse as ancient China and Greece, wisdom, compassion, and courage were regarded to be universal moral qualities and central to education. So it is no surprise that what is now called “academic integrity,” loosely defined as acting in accordance with values and principles consistent with ethical teaching, learning, and scholarship, is a concept and a concern in academic communities in the USA. What may surprise some, however, are the unique characteristics of this subject in the American context that differ considerably from the British and European models upon which they were based.