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Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1751-1917
  • E-ISSN: 1751-1925


Good citizenship includes fair competitive strategies. Dishonest competitive behaviour – such as fraud – can reflect the absence of one main characteristic of good citizenship as mindfulness of laws and social rules. This article investigates the social representation of competition and fraud with two samples of students from business schools in France and in Hungary. Two complementary studies were carried out with P. Vergès’ associative method and C. Flament and M. L. Rouquette’s tools. The purpose of the first study (N=104, N=107) was to characterize the central core of the respondents’ representation of both competition and fraud. On the basis of different cultural, historical and economic backgrounds, it was expected that the concepts of fraud and competition would overlap more extensively among Hungarian students than among French students. Results from the first study suggest only slight differences regarding the content of the representations; moreover, in both samples the representations of competition and fraud lacked significant overlap. Hungarian representations of competition and fraud are characterized by a lower level of coherence. Furthermore, academic cheating is mentioned more frequently by Hungarian students than by French students. Following the methodological guidelines of social representations, in order to confirm the results of the first study, a second investigation was carried out (N=115, N=127) with an alternative associative method. These results confirmed the first study in terms of the content of the social representations and differences regarding coherence. Finally, in the case of Hungarian students a higher prevalence of reference to academic cheating, and links between fraud and competition were found. Hungarians’ competitive result orientation, linked social representations of competition and fraud via a higher prevalence of academic cheating; this refers to the weaker inclination of Hungarians in terms of rule keeping behaviours. which is one of the hallmarks of a good citizen. In fact, our results indicate that, Hungarian students do not seem to consider academic cheating as problematic as French students do.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): associations; competition; France; fraud; Hungary; social representation
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