Do Accounting Students Cheat? A Study Examining Undergraduate Accounting Students' Honesty and Perceptions of Dishonest Behavior

19 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2007

See all articles by David E. Morris

David E. Morris

North Georgia College & State University

Claire McCarty Kilian

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

Research suggests that a significant number of undergraduate students have cheated at some point during their college careers. This is of particular concern to the accounting profession and accounting educators given the ethical crisis within the profession and corporate America. This paper discusses the results of a study that surveyed 569 undergraduate business majors from seven universities. The objectives of this study were threefold: first, to determine if students who were accounting majors were as likely to cheat or act in an academically dishonest manner as were students with other business majors; second, to determine if accounting students agree on whether certain behavior constitutes dishonesty; and third, to determine if those accounting students who did admit to cheating in college also cheated in high school. The results indicated that there was no significant difference between accounting majors and other business majors with regards to the number who admitted to cheating. There was significant disagreement among accounting majors as to what constitutes dishonest behavior. Finally, the results indicated that a significant number of those accounting majors who admitted to cheating in college also admitted to cheating in high school. Implications for the accounting educator and potential solutions are discussed.

Keywords: cheating, honesty, students, behavior, ethics, accounting

JEL Classification: I29, M14, M40

Suggested Citation

Morris, David E. and Kilian, Claire McCarty, Do Accounting Students Cheat? A Study Examining Undergraduate Accounting Students' Honesty and Perceptions of Dishonest Behavior (August 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1010277 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1010277

David E. Morris (Contact Author)

North Georgia College & State University ( email )

Dahlonega, GA 30597
United States

Claire McCarty Kilian

University of Wisconsin - River Falls ( email )

United States

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