I was absolutely amazed to read the commentary in Business Week, May 14, 2007 p. 42 from Michelle Conlin on the Cheating scandal at Duke's Business School. Can there really be a question here of whether these graduate business students, who in complete disregard of all ethical and statutory standards of this prestigious business school, did something WRONG by collaborating (CHEATING) on a take home exam?
I too am a fan of open source, collaboration and the idea that capturing the participation of customers and employees is required in this new 21st century competitive environment. But to write off this cheating scandal based upon the "mixed signals" society is giving to these students, is tantamount to explaining away Enron's criminal activities as just doing what everyone else was doing. The idea that email, instant messaging, and the iPod has somehow created a society in which cheating is de rigueur is just plain misguided! Michelle, if you don't believe that these students thought they were doing something wrong, then I suggest you think again!
How can a publication like Business Week publish such garbage and even allow the thought that this behavior should be condoned as a plausible argument? Haven't we had enough of our fair share of misguided business, political and religious leaders provide a large enough pool of miscreants to make us all uncomfortable with the role models our society has created?
This argument that "one can understand the confusion" that somehow cheating on an exam should be written off as postmodern learning is not "food for thought" as Michelle portrays it, this is our corrupt view of the lowest level that our standards have ever achieved. Business Week should know better!