Faculty Publications


The Relationships between Personal Values, Justifications, and Academic Cheating for Business vs. Non-Business Students

Document Type



Business Students, Cheating, Un-prescribed Adderall, Values

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Academic Ethics


In this study we examine college cheating behaviors of business students compared to non-business students, and investigate possible antecedents to cheating in an effort to better understand why and when students cheat. We specifically examine power values; we found that they were positively related to academic cheating in our sample, and that choice of major (business or non-business) partially mediated the relationship between power values and cheating. We also considered the extent to which students provide justifications for their cheating, and found that business students were more likely to justify (rationalize) their cheating behaviors. Finally, we update the literature in terms of the ways students cheat. We assess newer forms of academic cheating, as increased accessibility to information via the Internet and smartphones may have changed the ways and ease with which students cheat – a particularly relevant topic currently, as many classes have moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic. In our study, cheating was especially prevalent when taking quizzes or tests or completing homework online. We found that only 10% of participants reported never engaging in any of the cheating behaviors we examined.


Department of Management

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa