Central Role of Moral Obligations in Determining Intentions to Engage in Digital Piracy

Hashim, M.J., K.N. Kannan, and D.T. Wegener. "Central Role of Moral Obligations in Determining Intentions to Engage in Digital Piracy." Journal of Management Information Systems, 35 (3), pp. 934-963, 2018.

43 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2018 Last revised: 20 Jun 2019

See all articles by Matthew J. Hashim

Matthew J. Hashim

University of Arizona

Karthik Natarajan Kannan

Purdue University

Duane Wegener

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology

Date Written: January 29, 2018

Abstract

Piracy is a significant source of concern facing software developers, music labels, and movie production companies, to name a few. Digital goods producers and government entities argue that there are victims of piracy, whereas pirates may perceive their actions to be victimless. We extend the theory of planned behavior by theorizing that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control could influence perceptions of moral obligations as a consequence of the desire to rationalize unethical behavior. Unlike prior literature, we manipulate the rationalization of moral obligations due to the victimless view towards piracy, and show how moral obligations become important determinants of piracy behavior. We also conduct a second study to identify the effect of implementing an educational message from a fictitious software company to exogenously nudge the pirate and influence the impact of perceived moral obligations on intentions to pirate.

Keywords: piracy, morals, victimless crime, theory of planned behavior

Suggested Citation

Hashim, Matthew J. and Kannan, Karthik Natarajan and Wegener, Duane, Central Role of Moral Obligations in Determining Intentions to Engage in Digital Piracy (January 29, 2018). Hashim, M.J., K.N. Kannan, and D.T. Wegener. "Central Role of Moral Obligations in Determining Intentions to Engage in Digital Piracy." Journal of Management Information Systems, 35 (3), pp. 934-963, 2018., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3114508 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3114508

Matthew J. Hashim (Contact Author)

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of Management Information Systems
Eller College of Management
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Karthik Natarajan Kannan

Purdue University ( email )

Krannert School of Management
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States

Duane Wegener

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology ( email )

1885 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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