Siponen, Vance and Willison (2012)
|Siponen, Vance and Willison (2012)|
|Title:||New insights into the problem of software piracy: The effects of neutralization, shame, and moral beliefs|
|Author(s):||Siponen, M., Vance, A., Willison, R.|
|Citation:||Siponen, M., Vance, A., & Willison, R. (2012). New insights into the problem of software piracy: The effects of neutralization, shame, and moral beliefs. Information & Management, 49(7), 334-341.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Survey data using scenario examples were collected from 183 graduate students in a large European business school.|
|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 is a major economic concern for organizations. Previous research indicates that neutralization, a form of rationalization, can help explain software piracy intentions. However, a knowledge gap exists in our understanding of which neutralization techniques most influence software piracy intention. To address this gap, we developed a model that explains the effects of neutralization techniques on software piracy intention. We included different types of deterrents (formal sanctions, shame, and moral belief) in our model because individuals may use neutralization techniques to mitigate feelings of guilt and shame, which, subsequently, reduce the deterrent effect. Our empirical results (for 183 people surveyed) showed that appeal to higher loyalties and condemn the condemners strongly predict software piracy intentions. In addition, informal deterrents such as shame and moral beliefs are strong predictors. These findings suggest that anti-piracy efforts should involve educational intervention aimed at addressing these two neutralization techniques rather than relying on formal sanctions.
Main Results of the Study
The main results reported in the study: *The neutralization technique 'Appeal to Higher Loyalties' significantly increased the intention to pirate software. *The neutralization technique 'Condemn the Condemners' significantly increased intention to pirate software; this is also a new predictor of software piracy. *The other components of neutralisation (Denial of Injury, Metaphor of the Ledger, Defense of Necessity, Denial of Responsibility or Denial of the Victim) did not have a significant effect on individuals’ intentions to pirate software. *The effect of 'Moral Beliefs' on intention to commit software piracy was significant. *'Formal Sanctions' had no deterring effect on software piracy intention. This finding is consistent with studies on corporate crime, it differs from that of Higgins et al (2005).*Although these findings suggest that 'Formal Sanctions' may not be a strong predictor of intent to pirate software, there may be other forms of sanctions that can deter software piracy. For example, the effect of 'Shame' on intention to commit piracy was significant.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Policy implications reported in the study: *Our results suggest that all sections of society should use shame as a deterrent to software piracy while attempting to convince people that software piracy is morally wrong.*In order to address the neutralization technique of 'condemn the condemners' and 'appeal to higher loyalties,' educators and anti-piracy organizations must make a convincing case that arguments such as ‘‘it is acceptable to copy for a friend or someone who does not have money’’ are not tenable or ‘‘software agreements are unfair’’. *The results that suggest certainty and severity of shame have a significant deterrent effect on software piracy opens up an avenue for campaigns and education strategies that stress the likelihood and severity of shame. Software development companies, educators, and anti-piracy organizations need to make a justified and convincing case that software piracy is not morally acceptable. This has been effective in several countries where the religious bodies have been active in denouncing the use of software piracy.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||University students|
|Period of material under study:||Not stated|