The moral decision-making process of unauthorised downloading
by Eva Hofmann; Elfriede Penz
International Journal of Business Environment (IJBE), Vol. 8, No. 4, 2016

Abstract: Unauthorised downloading has become an established behaviour in today's digital society, but the stages of individuals' decision-making processes guiding unauthorised downloading have been examined only fragmentarily. Comparing the different decision processes of intended downloaders and non-downloaders highlights aspects of the processes that can be modified for the benefit of digital society. The issue-contingent model of ethical decision-making in organisations (Jones, 1991) is applied to compare the decision-making process for the unauthorised downloading of digital leisure goods. Additionally, the impact of subfactors of moral intensity on the decision process is compared. Respondent groups differ in the effect of social consensus on the decision-making process. Additionally, the entire issue-contingent model is important in internet piracy research. From a practical view and based on social consensus results, it is essential for companies to establish sentiments that unauthorised downloading is an unacceptable behaviour within a specific social group that is highly relevant to downloaders.

Online publication date:: Fri, 09-Dec-2016

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