Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Academic Dishonesty in an Accounting Ethics Class: A Case Study in Plagiarism

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Academic Dishonesty in an Accounting Ethics Class: A Case Study in Plagiarism

Article excerpt

CASE BODY

The following exchange took place during a phone call between Professor Blanchard and John Edwards, a student in his accounting ethics class:

John: "I did not cheat on those papers. The sources were included as references." Professor Blanchard: "But John, on the ethics paper you copied word-for-word each of the four codes of ethics. Instead of comparing and contrasting them as required, you copied and pasted them one after the other without using quotation marks or citing the sources in the text. And, on the scandal paper you googled the scandal and then copied and pasted from four sources without any attribution. None of the words in the paper were your own. What you did is the very definition of plagiarism, which is cheating by using the words or thoughts of others without proper attribution."

John: "I did not cheat."

Professor Blanchard: "I disagree. You have plagiarized both of these papers. Please meet with me tomorrow at 2:00 pm. At that time I will go over the papers with you, explain what constitutes plagiarism, and give you my decision regarding the grade on the papers including any additional consequences."

Background Information

After completing his doctorate, Professor Martin Blanchard received his first appointment as an assistant professor of accounting. Since his dissertation was related to accounting ethics the accounting department chair assigned Martin to teach the undergraduate accounting ethics course. In this Southwestern state, accounting students applying to take the CPA exam must have earned 150 semester hours of college credits and must have passed an ethics course approved by the state's board of accountancy. Professor Blanchard had gone through a rigorous process to get his course accepted by the board and had become the only professor at the University approved to teach accounting ethics.

The Professor's ethics course required students to apply Utilitarian, Kantian, and virtue ethics and the values of the accounting profession covered in two textbooks and in various accounting case studies. In addition, the students were assigned two term papers that were due several weeks before the end of the semester. …

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