Accounting student and faculty views toward academic honesty

José Dutra Oliveira Neto, Osvaldo Chacarolli Júnior


Research indicates that ethical behavior of undergraduate students may have impact on the future life of a professional accountant. Responding to international demands for further discussions on professional ethics and academic ethics, this research examines the views of students and faculty members regarding academic honesty to foster this discussion. There is no research in Brazil comparing the perceptions of professors and Accounting undergraduate students regarding academic honesty. The goal of this research is to assess the views about academic honesty among students and faculty members of an Accounting course in Brazil. It is an exploratory and descriptive research. A survey was carried out with two data collection instruments (students and faculty members) in the form of a questionnaire of potential situations involving academic dishonesty which were subject to penalties. The sample consists of 22 faculty members and 102 students from an Accounting undergratuate program in a public educational institution. Both students and faculty members analyzed the behavior described in all cases and assigned the penalties that should apply in each case. The results showed that students’ views and professors’ views involving academic honesty is different only in “gray” cases. In other cases there is an alignment between students and professors in the school studied, which is not consistent with the results obtained in the original research in America on which this work was based. Considering that the views of students and professors are relatively aligned in our sample and that the results of recent research on the ethics among Accounting students indicate a high level of academic dishonesty, there is a need to investigate why students do not practice what they believe regarding academic honesty. We suggest that discussions about the code of ethics prevailing in universities and colleges about academic honesty and their respective penalties should be discussed with more intensity not only in ethics courses, but also in other courses in an integrated way.

Key words: academic honesty, academic dishonesty, accounting, undergraduate.

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