Academic journal article Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences

Revisiting Software Piracy Using Globe Cultural Practices

Academic journal article Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences

Revisiting Software Piracy Using Globe Cultural Practices

Article excerpt


Software piracy is a pervasive phenomenon that began to receive attention in the 80s (Cook, 1984; Cooper, 1984; Graham, 1984; Morgan & Ruskell, 1987). A basic definition of piracy portrays it as "the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright "(Merriam Webster, 2012). In the information systems (IS) literature software piracy has been defined as "any illegal software copying activity" (Peace, Galletta, & Thong, 2003), or the unauthorized duplication, distribution (Moores & Dhillon, 2000), and downloading of computer software and applications (Nill & Shultz, 2009).

Recent statistics underscore the importance of the software industry as an important sector of the United States economy. It is estimated that in 2011, the software industry added more than US$ 150 billion in revenue to the US economy (First Research, 2014). Moreover, the US software industry controls about 43% of the global sales (Marketline, 2012). Nevertheless, despite the suggested positive context, Business Software Alliance (BSA) exposes that not all is good news. For instance, this organization claims that for the year of 2011 software piracy increased by 7.8% (BSA, 2012). In addition, the same report presents that the global piracy rate is 42% and estimates that loses for software developers extend to US$60 billion, worldwide, for the year of 2011 (BSA, 2012). Hence, given the suggested level of piracy rate we think it is important to continue studying this phenomenon.

In the early 2000s, researchers began to empirically uncover the role that culture has in understanding the phenomena of software piracy at the national level (Husted, 2000; Marron & Steel, 2000). Both studies relied on Hofstede's (1983) cultural value measures to analyze software piracy. Hofstede's cultural dimensions were obtained from data collected at different subsidiaries of US-corporation IBM across the globe during the late 60s (Javidan, House, Dorfman, Hanges, & De Luque, 2006). Hofstede's effort became a highly utilized way to understand and measure culture (House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004). However, it has been criticized (Javidan, House, et al., 2006; McSweeney, 2002; Schwartz, 1994). Some say that the instrument used was biased on the needs of IBM and developed with no theoretical support (Javidan, House, et al., 2006). Others suggest that because only one organization from a hi-tech sector was used, it is plausible to think that respondents' education level was biased, especially in the context of developing countries (Schwartz, 1994). In addition, some researchers indicate that Hofstede's dimensions confuse cultural values (what ought to be) and behavior (actual practices) (Terlutter, Diehl, & Mueller, 2006).

The culture literature has different instruments proposed to measure culture. One of these instruments came through the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) program (House et al., 2004). This project resulted from the collaboration of more than 160 researchers from different parts of the world (Javidan, House, et al., 2006). The effort focused on developing an instrument elaborated with theory while using modern statistical techniques with the aim of having a valid and reliable instrument (House et al., 2004). Also, the instrument divided the measure of culture into practices and values since the researchers aimed to test if values indeed drive cultural practices and because it is argued that it is practices that actually drive social phenomena (Javidan, House, et al., 2006).

Hence, given the alleged weaknesses of Hofstede's instrument and the claim that cultural practices are better measured with GLOBE, we address a gap in the literature since we know of no other study that uses GLOBE measurements to assess the impact of culture practices on software piracy. As a result, we replicate previous studies (Husted, 2000) that addressed software piracy at the national level using GLOBE (House et al. …

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