Taking Plagiarism Personally: Negotiating a Psychological contract to enhance the student experience

Kate Wilson, Doug Jackman, Monica Kennedy

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


This paper explores the interaction between lecturer and student in the development of academic integrity, utilising the findings from a single graduate unit. Through this case unit, we explore the lecturer’s response to student plagiarism through the metaphor of a psychological contract (Rousseau, 1995) between student and lecturer and its perceived violation. As a result of the perceived violation, it became critical that the lecturer and student work to restore equity in the contract. In the process of restoration, student and lecturer together built shared understandings of what it means to write with integrity from sources.

The lecturer followed a continuous improvement process, refining the ways in which he interacted with his students in attempts to improve academic integrity within the unit cohort. The findings illustrate the many ways in which the lecturer ‘takes plagiarism personally’: firstly through the personal affront he experiences when identifying plagiarism in student work; secondly, by taking personal responsibility for student plagiarism; and, finally, by taking a personal interest in the students’ development of academic integrity. The outcomes highlight the impact of the lecturer/student relationship on understandings of plagiarism specifically, and on the student experience generally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Student Experience: Proceedings of the 32nd HERDSA Annual Conference
Editors HERDSA
Place of PublicationMilperra, NSW, Australia
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)00908557787
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventThe Student Experience HERDSA 2009 - Darwin, Australia
Duration: 6 Jul 20099 Jul 2009


ConferenceThe Student Experience HERDSA 2009


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