PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the (in)tolerance level of accounting major students in Oman toward identified integrity destroying academic activities.Design/methodology/approachA triangulation approach was adopted whereby a questionnaire survey on academic fraud (AF) was administered to a group of Omani major accounting students. The descriptive statistical results were further analyzed and validated using in-depth interviews in exploring further the students’ tolerance decisions.FindingsA conceivably low and non-disturbing tolerance level toward the myriads of integrity destroying academic activities was documented. The tolerance is, however, observed to be dynamic in nature as it is sensitive to fraud “severity” and “seriousness”, i.e. it increases as AF activities become less severe and serious. Minor free-ride is tolerated the most, followed by minor plagiarism and seldom forgery. These AF activities were tolerated most by female and academically weak students. The varying results suggest that demographic factors do play a role in shaping Omani future accountants’ AF tolerance. The interview results further point to the intertwined factors of academic, family and peers, as well as religion that primarily influence their AF tolerance levels.Originality/valueThe research fills the extremely scarce accounting education literature in Oman by documenting fresh evidence of AF (in)tolerance among future members of the country’s accountancy profession. As academic is the primary source of accountants’ accountability and integrity knowledge and training base, investigating accounting students’ tolerance toward integrity in the acute context of AF would effectively provide a reflection of the profession’s future integrity environment.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 5, 2018