Aleassa, Pearson and McClurg (2011)
|Aleassa, Pearson and McClurg (2011)|
|Title:||Investigating Software Piracy in Jordan: An Extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action|
|Author(s):||Aleassa, H., Pearson, J. M., McClurg, S.|
|Citation:||Aleassa, H., Pearson, J. M., & McClurg, S. (2011). Investigating software piracy in Jordan: An extension of the theory of reasoned action. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(4), 663-676.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study uses questionnaire data collected from a sample of undergraduate business students at Yarmouk University, Jordan. 400 questionnaires were distributed with 330 completed and returned. 323 questionnaires were analysable and this represented about an 80% response rate. The participants’ average age was 20.3. About 41% of the respondents were male. With regard to the academic level, 19.5% indicated they were freshmen, 32.8% sophomore, 27.2% junior, and 20.4% seniors. In terms of the participants’ majors, no one major dominated the sample; participants represented the six majors of the faculty from which they were drawn.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Software piracy, the illegal and unauthorized duplication, sale, or distribution of software, is a widespread and costly phenomenon. According to Business Software Alliance (2008), over 41% of the PC software packages installed worldwide were unauthorized copies. Software piracy behavior has been investigated for more than 30 years. However, after a review of the relevant literature, there appears to be two voids in this literature: a lack of studies in non-Western countries and a scarcity of process studies. This study contributes to literature by developing a software piracy model to better understand the decision-making process that underlies this unethical behavior. The model was tested using data collected from a sample of 323 undergraduate business students. Consistent with the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), attitudes toward software piracy and subjective norms were significant predictors of intention to pirate software. Also, the results suggested that ethical ideology, public self-consciousness, and low self-control moderated the effect of these variables on intention to pirate software. The results have important practical implications for the software industry and governments hoping to curtail software piracy. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future studies are discussed as well.
Main Results of the Study
Because human behaviour is widely believed to be determined by both social influences and dispositional (attitude) factors, the study uses and extends the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) to develop a process that links social influence, attitude and intention to pirate software to analyse the determinants of software piracy in Jordan. TRA posits that the most immediate precursor of behaviour is an individual’s intention to behave, which in turn is determined by attitude toward a target behaviour and subjective norms. Subjective norms are perceived social pressures exerted on an individual to perform a behaviour or not. The results of the study were as follows:* TRA was a useful theoretical framework to predict Jordanian university students’ intentions to engage in software piracy and explained variance in the individual’s intention to pirate software;* Relative to attitude, subjective norms had a stronger effect on intention to pirate software;* The influence of perceived subjective norms on intention to pirate software was about twice as great as that of attitude toward software piracy;* The stronger effect of subjective norms in shaping Jordanian university students intention to pirate software relative to their attitudes might be attributed to the collectivistic nature of the Jordan culture;* The effect of students’ attitude on their intention to pirate software was significantly moderated by ethical ideology (idealism and relativism);* The presence of low self-control enhanced the effect of subjective norms on behavioral intention. This suggests that low self-control students had stronger intentions to pirate software when they perceived that significant others were supportive of or engaged in such behaviour and vice versa;* High public self- consciousness students were more attuned to significant others’ demands and opinions than students with low public self-consciousness; thus, their intentions to pirate software were determined more by their perception of subjective norms;* Religiosity had insignificant moderating effect on the software piracy attitude– intention relationship;* Subjective norms did not affect all students equally; subjective norms had a stronger effect on students who scored higher on low self-control and public self-consciousness scales;* The effect of attitude on intention to pirate software was significantly moderated by ethical ideology.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The results of the study enhance understanding of software piracy and enable the provision of recommendations to curtail this unethical act in developing countries. On a theoretical basis, the study adds to existing software piracy literature/policy by developing a behavioural process model and testing it in a developing country with higher piracy rates. On a practical basis, the study implicates university policy as regards software piracy so as to suggest the following:* Students should be exposed to new information to increase the probability of increasing new norms that would replace existing norms. Through media, workshops or group discussion, students should be shown that software piracy norms among students are exaggerated;* An intervention program might indicate that there are a substantial portion of significant others who disapprove of software piracy behaviour;* The intervention program might reveal the identities of software pirates to the public through the media and the campus newspaper;* Presenting students with new information that associates software piracy with negative consequences such as lost taxes, higher software prices, and lost jobs should lead to these individuals forming new beliefs and developing a negative attitude toward software piracy.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||University students|
|Period of material under study:||2010|