Decision to commit digital piracy: the role of emotions and virtues
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Due to the increasingly negative impact of global digital piracy worldwide, there is strong enthusiasm among scholars and business practitioners to find a solution to this phenomenon. Most research on digital piracy behaviour primarily concentrates on the economic, personal and situational factors that influence the intention to pirate; however, I take a different approach by focusing on the psychological variables of emotions and virtues and using these new sets of psychological variables for theoretical and empirical modelling. Built on the existing research, this study creates a new conceptual framework and a set of hypotheses to investigate the role of virtues (ambition and equality) in the relationship between manipulated emotions and felt emotions (shame and guilt). The study aims to develop an understanding of the relationship between felt emotions and pro-social post digital piracy behaviours (repair behaviour, advice behaviour, compensation behaviour, report behaviour, and discontinuance behaviour). The study also investigates the role of virtues (ambition and equality) in the relationship between felt emotions (shame and guilt) and pro-social post digital piracy behaviours. The study tests the hypotheses using data from 500 respondents. These respondents were New Zealand residents currently residing in the Auckland region. To test the theoretical model, the study uses path analysis – based moderation and mediation analysis as well as their combination as a “conditional process model” using the process tool for SPSS. Results of the study indicate that the hypothesized model of the effect of virtues on the relationship between manipulated emotions and felt emotions, as well as on the relationship between felt emotions and digital piracy outcome behaviours fits the data. Findings from the study indicate that the virtue of ambition and the virtue of equality moderate the relationship between manipulated emotions and felt emotions and the relationship between felt emotions and digital piracy outcome behaviours differently. This study provides an important contribution to the understanding of the digital piracy phenomenon by establishing the linkage between emotions and pro-social digital piracy outcomes and by integrating the role of individuals’ virtues in these relationships. The theoretical framework and the findings of the thesis will potentially stimulate scholars to conduct further academic research.