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Title: Egoism versus altruism in software piracy behavior : theoretical integration and contingent analysis
Other Titles: Ruan ti dao ban xing wei zhong de li ji zhu yi yu li ta zhu yi : li lun zheng he yu quan bian fen xi
軟體盜版行為中的利己主義與利他主義 : 理論整合與權變分析
Authors: Sun, Yongqiang ( 孫永強)
Department: Department of Information Systems
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Software piracy -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Intellectual property infringement -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Notes: CityU Call Number: K1401 .S96 2011
viii, 139 leaves : ill. 30 cm.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2011.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 115-133)
Type: thesis
Abstract: There are three widely used theoretical perspectives to understand individual piracy behavior: (1) general deterrence theory, which postulates that individual piracy behavior is determined by the fear of punishment; (2) ethical decision making theories, which assume that concern for others’ welfare (e.g., altruism) underlies piracy behavior; and (3) rational decision making theories (e.g., theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behavior), which claim piracy behavior to be a result of individuals’ judgment on self-interest (e.g., egoism). Although these perspectives have provided many insightful findings, there are still two research gaps that have not been addressed properly: (1) the lack of theoretical integration of the different perspectives and (2) the lack of understanding on the contingent effects defining the situations under which the previous theories work. To address the first research gap, three approaches to integrate these three theoretical perspectives are proposed and empirically tested: (1) parallel integration, which treats deterrence process, ethical decision making process, and rational decision making process as three parallel processes associated with piracy behavior; (2) sequential integration, which suggests the sequential order of these three processes; for example, the deterrence process is considered to precede ethical decision making and rational decision making processes, and the ethical decision making process precedes rational decision making process; and (3) interactive integration, which considers ethical and rational decision making processes as two competing decision making processes and proposes a substitution effect between them. To address the second research gap, one digital good feature (i.e., public good perception) is proposed to moderate the influence of the ethical decision making process on piracy intention, and one social factor (i.e., social acceptance) is proposed to moderate the effectiveness of the deterrence mechanism. Specifically, in the current dissertation, perceived punishment, including certainty and severity, is considered the proxy of the deterrence process; perceived morality is used to represent the moral decision making process; and perceived instrumentality is considered to reflect the rational decision making process. An online survey with 253 subjects was conducted to collect data. The data analysis results show the following: (1) perceived punishment, perceived morality, and perceived instrumentality can directly influence piracy intention; (2) perceived punishment can indirectly influence piracy intention via perceived morality and perceived instrumentality, and perceived morality can indirectly influence piracy intention via perceived instrumentality; (3) perceived morality and perceived instrumentality, as two competing predictors of piracy intention, have a negative interaction effect (e.g., substitution effect); (4) public good perception moderates the substitution effect between perceived morality and perceived instrumentality; and (5) social acceptance weakens the relationships between perceived punishment, perceived morality, and piracy intention.
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