Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Assessment 1: Critical Writing (15%)
Granitz, N. and D. Loewy (2007), Applying Ethical Theories: Interpreting and Responding to Student Plagiarism, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 72, pp 293-306. Summary
Plagiarism in today's “copy and paste generation” is an unremitting, complex issue that is not yet fully understood. The paper responds to this proposition with a thesis that understanding the ethical reasoning provided by students in defending plagiarism is crucial in preventing it in student populations. The reasons can provide the basis for specific action-orientated recommendations to reduce plagiarism and to design programs to encourage originality and academic honesty within the relevant educational institutions. Moreover, the authors explain that this study has broader implications, given the link between educational plagiarism and the organisation and profitability of businesses. The paper develops an ethical framework to analyse the reasons that students use when defending their plagiarism. This framework is based on previous research into the ethical reasoning of students in different contexts. The authors explain and apply six ethical theories in the paper: Deontology, Utilitarianism, Rational self-interest, Machiavellianism, Cultural relativism and Situational ethics. The paper uses content analysis methodology to implement the ethical framework described above. Consequently, the research evaluates the recorded content found in the confidential files of students found to have plagiarised work at a US university. This includes the formal process by which the students were charged with plagiarism and how they defended their actions. To ensure the research was not biased two judges were used to evaluate the reasoning. To ensure a sufficient level of inter-rater reliability, the judges evaluated 20 identical ads before being given the cases used in the study. Their results show...
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