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The Biggest Cheaters

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In the past year, 56% of MBA graduate students admitted to cheating, such as plagiarizing, copying the work of another student, or bringing answers into a test. This figure means that masters of business administration students cheat more than any other type of graduate student in any other field. More worrisome is the fact that many MBA students assume that cheating is okay. With the recent rise in corporate scandals in the last few years, cheating is looked at as an acceptable form of business practice.

The authors of the report understand that something must be done, because ignoring the problem simply supports the belief that cheating is accepted and commonplace. The fear of lawsuits ties the hands of many professors, though; in this respect, the academic world has begun to mimic the corporate world. 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 before cheating occurs. Graduate students need to be taught, and they need to understand, that ethics matter in business. Therefore, faculty should repeatedly talk with students about academic ethics 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 copies the real business world, where a community of shareholders has a common interest. They 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. More worrisome is the fact that...
  2. The authors of the report understand that something must be done, because...
  3. More needs to be done to enforce...
  4. Others have suggested putting into practice...
  5. Experts say this copies the real business world, where...

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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