Academic dishonesty in graduate business programs: Prevalence, causes, and proposed action

Donald L. McCabe, Kenneth D. Butterfield, Linda Klebe Treviño

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


Little is currently known about cheating among graduate business students. We collected data from more than 5,000 business (mostly MBA) and nonbusiness graduate students at 32 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 academic years to test a series of hypotheses regarding the prevalence of graduate business student cheating and reasons why these students cheat. We found that graduate business students cheat more than their nonbusiness-student peers. Correlation results found cheating to be associated with perceived peer behavior, as well as the perceived certainty of being reported by a peer, and the understanding and acceptance of academic integrity policies by students and faculty. But, regression analysis results suggest that perceived peer behavior has the largest effect. Drawing from these findings and past research on undergraduate students, we propose strategies that business schools and faculty can use to promote academic integrity in graduate business programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-305
Number of pages12
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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