West Point Academy: Cheating Case Study

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Description This case revolves around the accusation of approximately 100 second-classmen at the West Point Academy that might have cheated on the electrical engineering exam. This type of cheating was a violation of the Honor Code with the consequence of being expelled from the Academy. Lt. General Sidney Berry was in charge of how to manage and/or discipline all the cadets that were involved in this incident. Berry had two paths he needed to deliberate. First, he had to decide whether to investigate each cadet accused of cheating. Second, Berry had to decide if he wanted to continue the standard Cadet Honor Board Investigations or develop a quicker and more systematic method of investigation that everyone agreed upon. Diagnosis The electrical engineer course was a very difficult class for all the cadets. Most of the cadets felt that these courses did not have any relevance to the military or their training. The Honor Code at West Point is very straight forward and states: “A Cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal nor tolerate those who do.” This code has been the focal point of the Academy to have the Cadets adhere to honorable and ethical practice at all times. However a few cadets felt the Honor Code to be extremely strict and inflexible and most looked for ways around the stringent rules without getting…show more content…
Coercive Power that was discussed by French and Raven strongly sticks out in this case. Coercive Power depends on fear. The person with coercive power has the ability to inflict punishment or aversive consequences on another person. The Honor Code and the individuals that sit on the board have this type of power over the cadets. Since coercive power is more of a concept, but fits well within this case, the theory that works along with the power concept is the social exchange theory. There is a give and take in the relationship between the cadets and leaders, but definitely not at equal

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