Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 161-167

First online:

Considerations in Ethical Decision-Making and Software Piracy

  • Suzanne C. WagnerAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Information Sciences, Niagara University
  • , G. Lawrence SandersAffiliated withState University of New York at Buffalo

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Individuals are faced with the many opportunities to pirate. The decision to pirate or not may be related to an individual's attitudes toward other ethical issues. A person's ethical and moral predispositions and the judgments that they use to make decisions may be consistent across various ethical dilemmas and may indicate their likelihood to pirate software. This paper investigates the relationship between religion and a theoretical ethical decision making process that an individual uses when evaluating ethical or unethical situations. An ethical decision making model was studied for general unethical scenarios and for the unethical behavior of software piracy. The research model was tested via path analysis using structural equation modeling and was found to be appropriate for the sample data. The results suggest that there is a relationship between religion and the stages of an ethical decision making process regarding general ethical situations and software piracy.