Academic dishonesty is one of the major problems that can increase the cases of corporate scandals including accountants.
White collar crime is against a law that usually involves a professional workers or person in business doing fraud or financial theft. From Klynveld Peat Marvick Gerdeler (KPMG) Malaysia fraud survey (KPMG, 2013), found that the survey respondent felt the amount of fraud has grown over the past three years by 89% while the other 94% respondent believed that fraud has become more sophisticated. The integrity of accounting programs has been regularly questioned due to the fact that the accounting career is being entrusted with the great responsibility of preparing and communicate the information to stakeholders for decision-making purposes. Considering that the accounting students are the future business leader, their educational integrity at the academic stage have to be given close attention.
Previous researcher Nonis & Swift (2001), have proven cheating in school is related to cheating at work and engaging in counterproductive work behavior. As one of the cases is Transmille Group Berhad’s auditor found out that the revenue was overstated for three consecutive financial years from 2004 to 2006. In order to avoid this matter happen in the future, this problem should be analyzed and overcome. Is it true, academic dishonesty happen because of the peer’s behavior, personal attributes, impression management, motivation and university regulations?
Motivation may prove to be a main purpose that affects the academic dishonesty among students. The study explores how do the perceptions of peer’s behavior affect students’ intention to study (Teodorescu & Andrei, 2009). Stephens (2017), stated about how students manage their attitudes related to academic dishonesty as such behavior is common in university. A general lack of honesty and integrity will be problematic if students maintain these habits as the next generation of accountants (Josephson & Mertz , 2004).
The perception of peers’ behavior has shown to be one of the significant explanatory contextual variables with perceptions of academic dishonesty upper levels among one’s peers related to self-reported academic dishonesty upper levels.
As McCabe (1992) suggest, that one of the major roles in this relationship is neutralization strategies where the students seem to find it rather easy to convince themselves that they have to do so if others are cheating and the institutional are not doing anything about it. They think that it is unfair for their grades as others are allowed to cheat.
The students are more likely to do academic dishonesty themselves if their peers are cheating and it is acceptable. Imagine what happens to students’ attitudes and behaviour when this academic dishonesty is acceptable and the university does nothing to prevent it. The students should know the understanding of how decisions related are relevant to behaviour in the exam as well as beyond the academic environment.
Peer perceptions involving academic dishonesty can give an influence as students make the particular decision about cheating in the exam. Additionally, students will be influenced by the perceptions of peers who will probably sit in judgment of their behavior.
The effect of peers influences has shown that the most important correlates of academic dishonesty are peer influences supported by Bandura’s social learning theory to understand academic dishonesty.