56% of graduate business students cheat!

The verdict is out! Graduate business students in the United States and Canada are more likely to cheat on their work than their counterparts in other academic fields. I am not at all surprised at this finding. And, it is not because there’s something fundamentally wrong in their thought process. I think the blame goes to the way business education is carried out at a lot of schools.

The report puts the number of cheating engineering grad students at roughly the same as that of business students. All in all, a pretty bleak picture. But, what surprises me is that business students justify their behavior by saying that the real world has accepted cheating as a way of doing business. While this is very true on the outset, there’s still a lot of inherent fallacy.

When you cheat in your business management assignments, you’re not avoiding a quantitative problem. You’re running away from theory, and that is what degrades your education. In the real world, theory still does hold true. Cheating occurs in other forms like corporate espionage, trade secret bungling, or other anticompetitive/copying tactics. Effective managers still understand the theory behind doing business.

Today’s business management education is nothing but a careful analysis of case studies, market predictions, value forecasting, optimization etc. While there are a lot of qualitative areas, most of it is still learning from others’ mistakes. Needless to say, if you are unable to form these opinions on your own, you have failed as a business management student.

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