Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 15, Issue 11, pp 1189–1198

Situational determinants of software piracy: An equity theory perspective

  • Richard S. Glass
  • Wallace A. Wood


Software piracy has become recognized as a major problem for the software industry and for business. One research approach that has provided a theoretical framework for studying software piracy has been to place the illegal copying of software within the domain of ethical decision making assumes that a person must be able to recognize software piracy as a moral issue. A person who fails to recognize a moral issue will fail to employ moral decision making schemata. There is substantial evidence that many individuals do not perceive software piracy to be an ethical problem. This paper applies social exchange theory, in particular equity theory, to predict the influence of situational factors on subjects' intentions to participate in software piracy. Consistent with the predictions of equity theory this study found that input and outcome situational variables significantly effect a person's intentions to commit software piracy.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard S. Glass
    • 1
  • Wallace A. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Bryant CollegeSmithfieldUSA

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