Selection of brick building blocksEthics and Diversity are two of the four Capstone Learning Outcomes, and collaboration is one of the SLA competencies associated with the course outcome of Communication. You will collaborate with your classmates throughout this course by providing feedback and suggestions for improvement on several course assignments, as well as participating in group problem-solving. Like all the pre-assessments, this activity allows you to demonstrate your current strengths and identify areas you’ll need to improve to successfully complete the Capstone. Specifically in this group exercise you will consider the relationship between academic honesty and workplace honesty. We hope you will find this an accessible topic. It’s essential you demonstrate your best work, as we will use the results to determine individual remediation needs and your own readiness for the Capstone.

In its most simple meaning, ethics is a system of moral principles. The study of ethics is a branch of philosophy examining standards of right and wrong. For a quick overview of major ethical theories, review the Ethics Resources [PDF File size, 26KB] document.

It’s also important that you pause to consider your personal experience with—or study of—diverse cultures and contemplate how personal biases, emotions, and stereotypes can affect the way cultural issues may be perceived. For a quick overview of cross-cultural theory, review the Diverse Cultures Resources [PDF File size, 84KB] document.

Achieving group consensus through collaborative communication is a skill employers increasingly find valuable. Learning with others is a synergistic process. Laal and Laal (2012) emphasize the potential value of collaboration as a learning tool, provided that individuals accept responsibility for their own actions and acknowledge the value of others’ contributions to a final product. The process of collaboration can help develop an individual’s critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills—skills employers tend to place on their “most desired” list for prospective employees.

Directions for the Collaborative Activity

Issues related to academic honesty and integrity are increasingly prevalent in higher education. When presented with the evidence of their academic dishonesty, some react defensively and claim they’re being falsely accused, while others allege discriminatory practices and blame anyone and everything except themselves for the situation. You’re probably most aware of plagiarism as an academic honesty violation. Here is a different type of problem.

Smart Strategy or Slippery Slope

A student thinks the degree “is just a piece of paper” needed to get a better job. The student decides to outsource capstone assignments, sends weekly materials to a ghostwriter saying “follow the instructions, don’t plagiarize, and don’t miss the deadlines.” She submits the assignments and gets good grades, until the ghostwriting arrangement is discovered. When confronted, the student has difficulty understanding what she has done wrong, since the work she submitted is original. After all, she says, successful business professionals know how to delegate tasks to achieve success.

Emerging research suggests such dishonest acts aren’t limited to the classroom, and that academic dishonesty may be a predictor of unethical behavior in the workplace. We wonder what might happen to that student in the work world.

During this collaborative discussion you will need to draw upon the following articles and other scholarly sources to support your work in this discussion. These are the sorts of articles you’ll be needing to use for your research. It’s all right if you don’t understand all the intricacies of social science research; you should be able to pick out the key points in these articles:

East, J. (2006). The problem of plagiarism in academic culture. International Journal for Educational Integrity, Retrieved from http://www.ojs.unisa.edu.au/index.php/IJEI/article/view/88

Elias, R. (2009). The Impact of anti-Intellectualism attitudes and academic self-efficacy on business students’ perceptions of cheating. Journal of Business Ethics86(2), 199-209. doi:10.1007/s10551-008-9843-8, Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=37321611&site=eds-live&scope=site

Fawley, N. E. (2007). Plagiarism Pitfalls: Addressing Cultural Differences in the Misuse of Sources. [PDF, file size 538 KB] International Journal of Learning,14(7), 71-74.

Introna, L., Hayes, N., Blair, L., & Wood, E. (2003). Cultural attitudes toward plagiarism. Lancaster University. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/1362321/Cultural_attitudes_towards_plagiarism

Martin, D. E. (2012). Culture and unethical conduct: Understanding the impact of individualism and collectivism on actual plagiarismManagement Learning, 43(3), 261-273. Excelsior College Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=tfh&AN=77340053&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Martin, D. E., Rao, A., & Sloan, L. R. (2009). Plagiarism, integrity, and workplace deviance: A criterion study. [PDF, file size 140 KB] Ethics & Behavior, 19(1), 36-50. doi:10.1080/10508420802623666 Excelsior College Library Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=36323783&site=eds-live&scope=site

Maxwell, A., Curtis, G. J., & Vardanega, L. (2008). Does culture influence understanding and perceived seriousness of plagiarism? International Journal for Educational Integrity, 4(2), 25-40. http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edo&AN=35848987&site=eds-live&scope=site

Nonis, S., & Swift, C. O. (2001). An examination of the relationship between academic dishonesty and workplace dishonesty: A multicampus investigation. [PDF, file size 2.6 MB] Journal of Education For Business, 77(2), 69. Excelsior College Library Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=5981574&site=eds-live&scope=site

Payan, J., Reardon, J., & McCorkle, D. E. (2010). The effect of culture on the academic honesty of marketing and business students. Journal of Marketing Education32(3), 275-291. doi:10.1177/0273475310377781
Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=54651786&site=eds-live&scope=site

Teixeira, A. C. (2013). Sanding the wheels of growth: Cheating by economics and business students and ‘real world’ corruption. Journal of Academic Ethics11(4), 269. doi:10.1007/s10805-013-9192-9
Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=91859448&site=eds-live&scope=site

Walker, M., & Townley, C. (2012). Contract cheating: A new challenge for academic honesty? Journal of Academic Ethics10(1), 27. doi:10.1007/s10805-012-9150-y
Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=72246352&site=eds-live&scope=site

 

Initial Post: Why does academic integrity matter? You must frame your position within the context of ethical theory and cross-cultural research. Substantiate your position using a minimum of two scholarly sources, chosen from those provided for this activity or other scholarly resources you wish to share. Cite your work properly using APA format. In 300-400 words, post your contribution by 11:59 PM ET Wednesday, addressing the following, then move into response mode for the remainder of the week:

Identify the integrity issues presented in the ‘Smart Strategy or Slippery Slope” case study.

  1. What are the ethical implications of such behavior?
  2. How might cultural differences affect perceptions of academic integrity?
  3. How might these same perceptions carry over into the workplace?

Group Collaboration: Some research suggests that academic dishonesty may be a predictor of unethical behavior in the workplace. We look at that finding in the collaboration phase of this discussion. Read group members’ posts and respond only to those assigned to your group. Ask questions and challenge assumptions and unsubstantiated claims. Collaborate with group members to address the following by Sunday:

  1. What’s common among group members’ ideas?
  2. What are points of disagreement?
  3. What strategies might help to reduce unethical conduct in the workplace while respecting the norms and values of diverse populations?
  4. As a group, brainstorm and work toward consensus on the top 3-5 strategies. Substantiate your suggestions by drawing upon the sources cited by group members and other scholarly sources as needed.

Note: It is essential that you be proactive in contributing to this collaborative discussion. Ask questions, seek clarification where needed, and extend the conversation by building upon classmates’ ideas. Do not rely on restatement of others’ ideas or quotations from sources. (Quotations should not exceed 10% of your total post.)

Failure to post contributions by Wednesday will lessen the group’s ability to work together effectively. Likewise, minimal participation, arguments, and groupthink will also affect the group. Do not ignore such behavior! Address the resulting conflict in a productive manner.

Your individual and original contributions to the group discussion will be used to assess your readiness for this capstone course. Your work will be evaluated using the collaboration/ethics/diversity pre-assessment rubric. “Yes” scores on 4 or 5 of the rubric criteria indicate that you show adequate competency in collaboration and grasp of ethics and diversity principles. “No” scores point to areas where you should brush up your skills to improve your chances of success with later course assignments. You are responsible for checking out the relevant materials in the Student Resources folder to help you improve.

Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. Work offline, proofread carefully, and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it. Posts must be properly organized in logical paragraphs with appropriate transitions linking each paragraph. All citations must be in APA format. We expect all Capstone students to demonstrate senior-level college writing skill.

When you are ready to post, click on the “Create Thread” button for a new thread or “Reply” to respond to a previous post. Then, copy/paste the text from your document into the message field, and use the formatting tools in the message box to edit your work. Before posting, use the ‘preview” icon in the upper-left corner of the message box to view your work. When you’re ready to post, click “Submit.”

Do not post your work as an attachment for any reason.

References

Laal, M. & Laal, M. (2012). Collaborative learning: What is it?Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 31 (World Conference on Learning, Teaching & Administration – 2011), 491 – 495. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042811030217 Excelsior College Permalink: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edselp&AN=S1877042811030217&site=eds-live&scope=site

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