Understanding plagiarism by accounting students: an empirical study in accounting education

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to: (i) identify factors concerning student plagiarism in accounting education; (ii) develop and empirically test a model of factors influencing students' plagiaristic behaviour; and (iii) make recommendations to accounting educators to reduce the incidence of student plagiarism. A questionnaire was administrated to 381 UK accounting students. Structural equation modelling was used to assist data analysis. Research results indicate four antecedents of student plagiarism labelled: (i) academic integration; (ii) cultural influences; (iii) moral capability; and (iv) gender. The surface learning approach taken by accounting students is found to be positively associated with their pressures such as fear of failure and time pressure. The paper concludes by suggesting that educators should adopt a supportive approach to motivating students to act in a consistent, ethical manner in their academic life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17
Number of pages37
JournalAccounting Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • student plagiarism
  • accounting education
  • structural equation modeling


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