The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of the fraud triangle, Machiavellianism, academic misconduct and corporate social responsibility (CSR) proclivity of…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of the fraud triangle, Machiavellianism, academic misconduct and corporate social responsibility (CSR) proclivity of students.
The present study surveyed 471 university students. The study was cross-sectional and employed structural equation modelling in statistical modelling.
The study provides evidence that perceived opportunity to cheat in examinations is the single most important factor accounting for significant variations in rationalization and academic misconduct. Similarly, low Machiavellians significantly get inclined to CSR ideals. The fraud triangle alone accounts for 36 per cent of the variations in academic misconduct, hence the error variance is 64 per cent of academic misconduct itself. This error variance increases to 78 per cent when a combination of perceived opportunity, rationalization, Machiavellianism is considered. Moreover, both Machiavellianism and academic misconduct account for 17 per cent of variations in students’ proclivity to CSR ideals.
Results imply that creating a setting that significantly increases a student's anticipated negative affect from academic misconduct, or effectively impedes rationalization ex ante, might prevent some students from academic misconduct in the first place and then they will become good African corporate citizens. Nevertheless, although the unit of analysis was students, these were from a single university – something akin to a case study. The quantitative results should therefore be interpreted with this shortcoming in mind.
This paper contributes to the search for predictors of academic misconduct in the African setting and as a corollary, for a theory explaining academic misconduct. Those students perceiving opportunity to cheat in examinations are also able to rationalize and hence engage in academic misconduct. This rationalization is enhanced or reduced through Machiavellianism.