Accounting Exam Irregularities in an MBA Program
(4 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
In late September 2014, students in the Arnold School of Business (Arnold) full-time MBA program wrote an open-book managerial accounting exam. Immediately after the exam, one of the students, who was also vice-president academic of the Graduate Business Students Association (GBSA), was informed by a classmate that some students accessed the Internet for solutions during the exam. The GBSA representative knew she had to do something but was unsure how to proceed.
In part A of the case, the student representative consulted with her colleague, the GBSA president. The two considered four potential courses of action: (1) do nothing; (2) bring the issue to the entire GBSA council; (3) inform the course instructor; or (4) speak directly to the academic chair of the MBA program.
In part B of the case, the two student representatives speak with the academic chair, who explained that without any hard evidence of academic dishonesty, little could be done. The academic chair and GBSA representatives must decide how to resolve the issue when any solution is likely to disappoint some students and cause division, and possibly enmity, among classmates who are just one month into their MBA.
This case is suitable for any graduate course at the start of the program, when establishing group norms and behavioural rules, or during a module on ethics. The case could also be used during program orientation modules. It is also suitable in orientation courses for new faculty members. After completing the case, students will be able to
- recognize common biases in processing and evaluating information for decision-making;
- reflect on an ethical situation and explore the ambiguity that may surround academic dishonesty; and
- explore the peer-to-peer roles in responding to and preventing academic dishonesty.
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