CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Peixiang Liu

Committee Member

Amon Seagull

Abstract

Researchers have found that software piracy worldwide over the years has significantly contributed to billions of dollars in lost revenue for many software firms. Software developers have found it difficult to create software that is not easily copied, thus, creating a software protection problem. Software piracy remains a global problem despite the significant effort to combat its prevalence.

Over the years, significant research has attempted to determine the factors that contribute to individuals' propensity to commit software piracy. Most of the research on software piracy has been limited to larger societies, with recommendations by researchers to extend similar studies to smaller ones. The literature indicating the need for additional research on this topic in different populations and cultures is significant. Given that, the key contributions of this study were to assess empirically factors such as personal moral obligation (PMO), cultural dimensions, ethical computer self-efficacy (ECSE) and the effect it has on individuals' propensity -- in cultures that support it -- to commit software piracy in smaller geographical locations.

Therefore, this research empirically assessed the contribution that PMO, Hofstede's cultural dimension of individualism/collectivism (I/C), and ECSE have made on individuals' propensity to commit software piracy. The study extended the current body of knowledge by finding answers to three specific questions. First, this study sought to determine whether the PMO component contributed to individuals' propensity to commit software piracy in The Bahamas. Secondly, this study sought to determine the level of contribution of Hofstede's cultural dimension of I/C to individuals' propensity to commit software piracy in The Bahamas. Finally, this study sought to determine the contribution of ECSE to individuals' propensity to commit software piracy in The Bahamas.

A total of 321 usable responses were collected over a one-month period from students from the school of business at a small Bahamian college, to determine their level of PMO, I/C, and ECSE contribution to individuals' propensity to commit software piracy. This represents, approximately, a 64% response rate. The results showed the overall significance of the models of the three factors in predicting individuals' propensity to commit software piracy. Furthermore, the results indicated that PMO and ECSE subscale PMO and ECSE_DB were significant, however, I/C, and ECSE (as a whole) were not.

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