Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 291–312 | Cite as

A Study of Cheating Beliefs, Engagement, and Perception – The Case of Business and Engineering Students

  • Carla M. Ghanem
  • Najib A. MozahemEmail author


Studies have found that academic dishonesty is widespread. Of particular interest is the case of business students since many are expected to be the leaders of tomorrow. This study examines the cheating behaviors and perceptions of 819 business and engineering students at three private Lebanese universities, two of which are ranked as the top two universities in the country. Our results show that cheating is pervasive in the universities to an alarming degree. We first analyzed the data by looking at the variables gender, college (business vs. engineering), GPA, and whether the students had taken the business ethics course. We then supplemented this analysis by building an ordered logistic regression model to test whether these independent variables affect the level of engagement in cheating behavior when we control for the other variables. The results show that males engage in cheating more than females and that students with a lower GPA engage in cheating more. We initially find a difference between business and engineering students, but once we control for the other variables, this difference ceases to exist. Our most surprising result is that the business ethics course seems to have a detrimental effect on the cheating behavior of students. Finally, we find that perception plays a key role in defining the behavior of students. The more that students perceive that others are engaging in a certain behavior, the higher the probability that they will engage in the behavior, even if they believe that this behavior constitutes cheating.


Academic dishonesty Cheating Cheating in business schools Ethics Lebanon 



We would like to thank Lara El Bachouti for helping us in the data collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Both authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10805_2019_9325_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (173 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 173 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Business AdministrationRafik Hariri UniversityDamourLebanon

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