Cheating and Whistle-blowing among Students at the University of Mauritius

Dinesh Ramdhony, Ashween Rambocus


This paper focuses on cheating and whistle-blowing among students at the University of Mauritius while taking into account Social Desirability Response Bias (SDRB). Furthermore, the study examines whether variables such as gender, SDRB, the belief about doing more about cheating, prior cheating behavior and prior whistle-blowing will affect student intent to whistle-blow. Data was collected using a questionnaire administered to 300 students at the University of Mauritius. Among these respondents, 119 were males and 181 were females. Findings suggest that students who have engaged in cheating are more likely to cheat in the future compared to those who have not. Students who stated that, measures should be taken to stop cheating are more likely to whistle blow in the future. With respect to Social Desirability Response Bias, female students have a tendency to respond in a more socially desirable manner. The study was conducted in one university so generalisation of the result should be done with care.

Key Words: Cheating, Whistle-Blowing, Social Desirability Response Bias

Field of Research: Management, Accounting and Ethics



Allmon, E., Haas, C., Borcherding, J., Goodrum, P. (2000). “US Construction Labor Productivity Trends, 1970-1998.” J. Constr. Engrg. And Mgmt., ASCE. 126(2), 97-104

Ameen, E., Guffey, D. M., & McMillan, J. J. (1996). Accounting students perceptions of questionable academic practices and factors affecting their propensity to cheat. Accounting Education, 5(3), 191–205.

Arthur M. Harkins, George H. Kubik, (2010) "“Ethical” cheating in formal education", On the Horizon, Vol. 18 Iss: 2, pp.138 – 146

Austin M. & Brown L., (1999). Internet Plagiarism: Developing Strategies to Curb StudentAcademic Dishonesty. The Internet and Higher Education, 2, 1, p21-33

Baird, J. S. (1980). Current trends in college cheating. Psychology in the Schools, 17, 515–522.

Bauchner, J.E., E.A.Kaplan, and CR. Miller (1980). “Detecting deception: the relationshipof available information to judgmental accuracy in initial encounter”. Human Communication Research, 6, pp.253-264.

Beanland, C., Schneider, Z., LoBiondoWood, G. and Haber, J. (1999). Nursing research: methods, critical appraisal and utilisation. Harcourt: Sydney, Australia.

Bernardi, R. A., &LaCross, C. C. (2004). Data contamination by social desirability responsebias in research on students’ cheating behavior. Journal of College Teaching and Learning, 1(8), 13–25.

Bernardi, R. A., Baca, A. V., Landers, K. S., &Witek, M. B. (2008). Methods of cheating and deterrents to classroom cheating: An international study. Ethics & Behavior, 18(4),373–391.

Richard A. Bernardi, Caitlin A. Banzhoff, Abigail M. Martino, Katelyn J. Savasta (2011), Cheating and Whistle-Blowing in the Classroom, in Cynthia Jeffrey (ed.) Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting (Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Volume 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.165-191

Bowers, W.J. (1964). Student dishonesty and its control in college. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University.[ONLINE] Available at:

Brabeck,M.(1984),”Ethical characteristics of whistle-blowers”, Journal of Research in Personality,Vol 18, pp, 41-53

Burgoon, J.K., D.B. Buller, A.S. Ebesu, and P. Rockwell (1994). “Interpersonaldeception: accuracy in deception and detection”. Communication Monographs, 61, pp.301-325

Burton, B., & Near, J. (1995). Estimating the incidence of wrongdoing and whistle-blowing. Journal of Business Ethics, 14, 17–CHARACTER COUNTS!: Programs: Ethics of American Youth Survey: Josephson Institute's Report Card. 2013.

CHARACTER COUNTS!: Programs: Ethics of American Youth Survey: Josephson Institute's Report Card. [ONLINE] Available at:

Christensen-Huges J.M&McCabe,D.L.(2006). Academic misconduct within higher education in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education,36(2) 1-21

Cizek, (1999). Cheating on Tests: How To Do It, Detect It, and Prevent It. Edition. Routledge.

Collison,M. (1990). Apparent rise in students cheating has college officials worried. The Chronicle of Higher Education,36(18),33-34

Cosima Rughinis (2010), Plagiarism : What it is and how to recognize and avoid it.Google.doc

Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology.Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24(4), 349–354.

David, J.M., Kantor, J. and Greenberg, I. (1994), “Possible ethical issues and their impact on thefirm: perception held by public accountants”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 13, pp. 919-37

David Lewis, (2001). Whistleblowing at Work. Edition. The Athlone Press

Davis, S. F.,Grover, C. A, Becker, A.H., & McGregor, L.N (1992). Academic dishonesty : Prevalence, determinants, techniques, and punishments. Teaching of Psychology,19,16-20

Diekhoff, G. M., LaBeff, E. E., Shinohara, K., & Yasukawa, H. (1999). College cheating in Japan and the United States. Research in Higher Education, 40(3), 343–353

Ehrlich,E,,Flener,S.B..,Carruth, G.,& Hawkins, .J.M.(1880). Oxford American Dictionary, Heald Colleges Edition. Oxford University Press

Finn, D. W. (1995). Ethical decision making in organizations: A management employee organizationwhistle-blowing model. Research on Accounting Ethics, 1, 291–313

Franklin-Stokes A. &Newstead S., (1995) Undergraduate Cheating: Who Does What &Why?. Studies in Higher Education, 20, 2,p159-172

Haines V,J. Diekhoff G,M. La Beff E,E..& Clark, R,E.,(1986). College Cheating: Immaturity, lack of commitment,and the neutralizing attitude. Research in Higher Education,25 pp342-354

Huang, C., Liao, H. and Chang, S. (1998). Social desirability and the Clinical SelfReport Inventory: methodological reconsideration. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54(4):517-528

Johnson, T. and Fendrich, M. (2002). A validation of the Crowne Marlowe Social DesirabilityScale.Availablefrom: (accessed 10 Jan 2012)

Kasprzak, J. and Nixon, M. (2004), ‘‘Cheating in cyberspace: maintaining quality in online education’’,Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 85-99.

Kimberly L. Adamaitis (2006), DATA CONTAMINATION BY SOCIAL DESIRABILITY RESPONSE BIAS: AN INTERNATIONAL STUDY OF STUDENTS’ CHEATING BEHAVIOR, in Cynthia Jeffrey (ed.) Research on Professiona Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting (Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Volume 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.149-175)

King, M. and Bruner, G. (2000). Social desirability bias: a neglected aspect of validity testing. Psychology and Marketing, 17(2):79–103

Klein, H. A., Levenburg, N. M., McKendall, M., &Mothersell, W. (2007). Cheating during college years: How do business school students compare? Journal of Business Ethics,72(2), 197–206.

Lane, J. C. (1995). Ethics of business students: Some marketing perspectives. Journal of Business Ethics, 14(7), 571–580.

Lund, D.B. (2008), “Gender differences in ethics judgment of marketing professionals in theUnited States”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 77 No. 4, pp. 501-15.

Malgwi, C., &Rakovski, C. C. (2009). Combating academic fraud: Are students reticent about uncovering the covert? Journal of Academic Ethics, 7(3), 207–221.

McCabe, D. L., & Treviño, L. K. (1993). Academic dishonesty: Honor codes and other contextual influences. Journal of Higher Education, 64, 522–538.

McCabe, D. L., Butterfield, K. D., & Trevino, L. K. (2006). Academic dishonesty in graduate business programs: Prevalence, causes, and proposed action. Academy of ManagementLearning& Education, 5(3), 203–211.

McCabe, D. L. (2005). Cheating among college and university students: A North American perspective. International Journal for Academic Integrity, 1(1), 1–11.

McCabe, Donald L. and Linda Klebe Trevino. (1997). Individual and Contextual Influences on Academic Dishonesty: A Multi-Campus Investigation Research in Higher Education 38(3): 379–396.

McCabe, Donald L., Linda Klebe Trevino and Kenneth D. Butterfield. (1999). Academic Integrity in Honor Code and Non-honor Code Environments: A Qualitative Investigation The Journal of Higher Education 70(2), 211–234.

McCabe, D. L., Trevin˜ o, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (2001). Cheating in academic institutions: A decade of research. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 219–232

Miceli, M. P.,&Near, J. P. (1984). The relationships among beliefs, organizational position, and whistleblowing status: A discriminant analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 27(4), 687–705.

Miceli, M. P., Van Scotter, J. R., Near, J. P., & Rehg, M. T. (2001). Individual differences in whistle-blowing. Presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management,Washington, D.C.

Michaels,J.W.., &Miethe, T.D (1989) Applying theories of deviance to academic cheating. Social Science Quarterly,70, 870-885

Millhan, J., Jacobson, L. I., & Berger, S. E. (1971), Effects of intellegence, information processing, and mediation conditions on conceptual learning, J.Exp. Psychol., (62), 293-299.

Moffatt, M. (1990). Undergraduate cheating. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 334921) .[ONLINE]Available at:

Nader, Ralph, Petkas, P.J and Blackwell,K. (eds)(1972), Whistle blowing: The report of the conference on professional Responsibility, New York,Bantam,.

Nederhof, A. (1985). Methods of coping with social desirability bias: A ReviewEuropean Journal of Social Psychology, 15(3):263280

Newstead,S.E.., Franklyn-Stoks, A &Armstead, P.(1996). Individual differences in student cheating. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88,229-241

O’Clock, P. &Okleshen, M. (1993), ‘A comparison of ethical perceptions of business and engineering majors’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 12, No.9, pp. 677-687.

Park, H., Blenkinsopp, J., Oktem, M. K., & Omurgonulsen, U. (2008). Cultural orientation and attitudes toward different forms of whistle blowing: A comparison of South Korea, Turkey, and the U.K. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(4), 929–939.

Paulhus, D. L. (1991). Balanced inventory of desirable responding (BIDR). In: J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds), Measures of Personality and PsychologicalAttitudesNew York: Academic Press. (Vol. 1, pp. 37–41).

Poorsoltan, K., Amin, S. and Tootoonchi, A. (1991), “Business ethics: views of future leaders”,Advanced Management Journal, Vol. 56, pp. 4-9.

Randall, D. M., &Fernandes, M. F. (1991). The social desirability response bias in ethicsresearch. Journal of Business Ethics, 10(11), 805–817

Rest, J. R. (1979). Development in judging moral issues. Center for the Study of Ethical Development, University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN: University of MinnesotaPress.

Richard A. Bernardi, Caitlin A. Banzhoff, Abigail M. Martino, Katelyn J. Savasta (2011), Cheating and Whistle-Blowing in the Classroom, in Cynthia Jeffrey (ed.) Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting (Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Volume 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.165-191

Robert Nelson (2007) Library Plagiarism Policies. Association of college & Research Libraries P.65

Rohde-Liebenau,B., (2006).Whistle-blowing rules:Best practices, assessment and revision of rules existing in EU Institution IPOL/D/CONT/ST 2005_58.Brussels: European Parliament

Rokeach, M. (1972). Beliefs, attitudes, and values: A theory of organization and change. SanFrancisco: Jossey-Bass.

Roscoe, J. T. (1975). Fundamental research statistics for the behavioral sciences, New York: Holt.

J. J. C. H., (1998) Student plagiarism in an online world. Available online at 26/Jan/2011].

Senate Select Committee on Public Interest Whistleblowing, In The Public Interest, AGPS, Canberra, (1994),Jubb, Peter, 'Whistle blowing :a restrictive definition and interpretation ', Journal of Business Ethics,1999 pp.77-94

Sherill, D., Salisbury, J. L., Horowitz, B. & Friedman, S. T. (1971) “Classroom cheating: consistentattitude, perceptions and behavior”, American Education Research Journal, 8, 503–510.

Sims, R. (1993). The relationship between academic dishonesty and unethical business practices.Journal of Education for Business, 68(4), 207–211.

Stannard, C., & Bowers, W. (1970). The college fraternity as an opportunity structure for meeting academic demands. Social Problems, 17(3), 371-390

Tibbetts, S. G., & Myers, D. L. (1999). Low self-control, rational choice, and student testcheating. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 23(2), 179–200

West, T., Ravenscroft, S. P., &Shrader, C. B. (2004). Cheating and moral judgment inthe college classroom: A natural experiment. Journal of Business Ethics, 54(2),173–183.

Whitley, B. E., Jr. (1998). Factors associated with cheating among college students: A review.Research in Higher Education, 39(3), 235–274.

Whitley, Jr., B.E. and Keith-Spiegel, P. (2002). Academic Dishonesty: An educator's guide. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. .[ONLINE] Available at:

Whitley,B.E.,Jr.,Nelson, A.B., & Jones, C.J (1999). Gender differences in cheating and attitudes and classroom cheating behavior: A meta-analysis. Sex roles,41, 657-680

Wiley, C. (2000). Ethical standards for human resource management professionals: Acomparative analysis of five major codes. Journal of Business Ethics, 25(1), 93–114

World Educational Forum. 2013. . [ONLINE] Available at:

پاراگلایدر Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

ISSN : 2251-1547