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The Biggest Cheaters

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In the past year, 56% of MBA graduate students admitted to cheating in one form or another, such as plagiarizing, copying the work of another student, or bringing cheat sheets or other prohibited items into a test. This figure indicates that masters of business administration students cheat more than any other type of graduate student in any other field. What's more alarming is the fact that many assume that it's okay. With the spate of corporate scandals in the last few years, cheating is seen as an acceptable form of business practice.

The authors of the report readily recognize that something must be done, as to leave the matter alone simply reinforces the notion that cheating is an accepted and common practice. The fear of litigation ties the hands of many professors, though; in this respect, the academic world has begun to mirror the corporate world, where all you need is the threat and the muscle to sue in order to get what you want.

More needs to be done to enforce ethical codes long before cheating occurs. Graduate students need to be taught, and to understand, that ethics matter in business. To this end, faculty should "engage students in an ongoing dialogue about academic integrity that begins with recruiting, continues in orientation sessions and initiation ceremonies, and continues throughout the program."

Others have suggested putting into practice a community based reward-punishment system; all the members of the community, in this case MBA students in a class, are punished in some way by a cheater. Experts say this models the real business world, where a community of shareholders has a common vested interest, and are affected equally by the decisions of a company or company representative.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. It's okay to cheat because everyone does it, at least sometimes.
  2. The business world is dishonest.
  3. If you want to get ahead and make money, you need to bend the rules a little.
  4. If I knew that I wouldn't get caught, I would cheat on a test.
  5. The biggest cheaters are businessmen.

Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.

  1. What's more alarming is...
  2. The academic world has begun to mirror the corporate world, where...
  3. More needs to be done to...
  4. Others have suggested putting...
  5. Experts say this models the real business world, where a community of shareholders...

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Have you ever cheated on a test? Why/not? When?
  2. What are the penalties at your school for cheating? What should they be?
  3. As a student, what would you do if you caught someone cheating? How about as a teacher?
  4. Why do you think so many M.B.A. graduate students are cheating?
  5. Do you think the number of students cheating has anything to do with problems in the family/society? Why/not?

Google Search: Type "MBA cheaters" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:



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