Commercialization of Higher Education BT - Handbook of Academic Integrity

  • Kezar A
  • Bernstein-Sierra S
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Commercialization of higher education is a symptom of the widespread shift to an academic capitalist regime across US colleges and universities, wherein institutions exhibit increasingly market-based behavior, and the public good mission takes a backseat to revenues and market share. Cheating behaviors among college students have increased alongside these capitalist trends, causing many scholars to question the role of institutions in matters of academic dishonesty. This chapter uses culture as a theoretical framework to demonstrate the impact of the academic capitalist environment on college campuses and how it affects the assumptions by which students’ individual decisions are shaped. Students model the behavior of valued others – faculty, staff, and peers – about appropriate ways to act, which informally become a part of their consciousness through the institutional culture in which they are embedded. The bulk of this chapter describes in detail the microlevel trends and behaviors that provide evidence of a growing culture of unethicality on college campuses, which is likely to shape students’ attitudes about academic integrity.




Kezar, A., & Bernstein-Sierra, S. (2016). Commercialization of Higher Education BT - Handbook of Academic Integrity. In T. Bretag (Ed.), Handbook of Academic Integrity (pp. 325–346). Springer Singapore. Retrieved from

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