This study examines relationships between perceived ethical climate types, as determined using Victor and Cullen’s (1988) ethical climate questionnaire, and actual cheating behavior by students completing a take-home exam problem. Data regarding students’ behavior were gathered from sixty-four students in two sections of an accounting course at a well-known university. Our major finding is that students who perceive the classroom as a benevolent climate focused on local groups (i.e. team identification is preeminent) engage in more cheating behavior than do students who perceive a benevolent climate focused on broader organization or societal groups. We conclude by discussing the ethical and pedagogical implications of this association between team-interest climate and higher levels of cheating behavior.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sue_ravenscroft/2/