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Examining intention of digital piracy: an integration of social norms and ethical ideologies

Namkee Park (Department of Communication, Yonsei University , Seoul, Korea (the Republic of))
Naewon Kang (School of Communications, Dankook University , Yongin, Gyeonggi-do,Korea (the Republic of))
Hyun Sook Oh (Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Pyeongtaek University , Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do, Korea (the Republic of))

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 12 March 2018

Issue publication date: 15 May 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the applicability of ethical ideologies reflected by two dimensions of moral idealism and relativism, together with social norms, to the context of digital piracy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used data from a survey of college students and conducted a series of hierarchical regression analyses.

Findings

This study found that digital piracy intention was dissimilar among four different ethical groups. Injunctive norm was a critical factor that affected internet users’ intention of digital piracy, yet it was valid only for situationists and absolutists. For subjectivists and exceptionists, individual differences represented by ego-involvement and past experience of digital piracy played a more critical role than social norms in explaining digital piracy intention.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to apply the dimensions of moral idealism and relativism to the context of digital piracy. Thus, it suggests that more tailored approaches are recommended to reduce digital piracy for internet users’ varied ethical ideologies.

Keywords

Citation

Park, N., Kang, N. and Oh, H.S. (2018), "Examining intention of digital piracy: an integration of social norms and ethical ideologies", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 157-172. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-11-2016-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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