Critique Of - Applying Ethical Theories: Interpreting and Responding to Student Plagiarism, Journal of Business Ethics

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Manchester Metropolitan University Business School Research Methods 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…show more content…
Klein describes the research which suggests that there is ambiguity on what is perceived as plagiarism among learners. Quoting Weiss & Bader (2003), ' [a]n example of an area of ambiguity might include peer collaboration and knowing to what extent the collaboration is considered inappropriate'. Consequently, I would argue that the paper does not fully consider the extent to which the ethical problems posed by plagiarism may be problematic because they are non-traditional and that they may not fit easily into existing and well used categorisation systems (Clegg et al., 2007). Instead, the paper seeks to apply ethical philosophies taken from different ethical contexts (albeit ideas used by students) and it maintains the general proposition that plagiarism is considered as morally wrong, without analysing this specifically in relation to students and academic institutions. Content analysis as a research methodology The paper applies a content analysis to review student files which record the formal process by which students in a large US West Coast university were 'charged' with plagiarism and defended themselves. The article recognises the fact that students may disguise their true reasoning whilst providing the reasoning, but concludes that 'they are still exposing the logic that they use to defend plagiarism – and
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