Examining intention of digital piracy: an integration of social norms and ethical ideologies

Namkee Park, Naewon Kang, Hyun Sook Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to investigate the applicability of ethical ideologies reflected by two dimensions of moral idealism and relativism, together with social norms, to the context of digital piracy. Design/methodology/approach: This study used data from a survey of college students and conducted a series of hierarchical regression analyses. Findings: This study found that digital piracy intention was dissimilar among four different ethical groups. Injunctive norm was a critical factor that affected internet users’ intention of digital piracy, yet it was valid only for situationists and absolutists. For subjectivists and exceptionists, individual differences represented by ego-involvement and past experience of digital piracy played a more critical role than social norms in explaining digital piracy intention. Originality/value: This study is the first attempt to apply the dimensions of moral idealism and relativism to the context of digital piracy. Thus, it suggests that more tailored approaches are recommended to reduce digital piracy for internet users’ varied ethical ideologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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