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Title: Understanding music piracy behaviours in China : a mixed method approach
Author: Xiong, C.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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Purpose Music piracy can be defined as an unethical consumer behaviour in the digital domain that has been facilitated by advancements in information and communication technologies. It can be regarded as a crucial issue in terms of the sustainable development of the global music industry. The issue of music piracy has attracted scholars' attention to examine the antecedents of music piracy behaviours. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) has been widely employed in explaining and predicting various unethical consumer behaviours from a social-psychological perspective. However, extant music piracy studies based on TPB, which take a post positivist stance, are mainly quantitative in nature. Considering the distinctive differences between Chinese and Western music markets, the purpose of this project is to investigate Chinese music consumers and their music piracy intentions by employing an exploratory sequential mixed methods approach. Design/methodology/approach To fill the gap in the music piracy literature, this project has examined the music piracy intentions of Chinese music consumers using an exploratory sequential mixed methods design based on a pragmatic worldview which emphasizes the importance of the research question. Specifically, in the first phase of the study, a qualitative project was conducted. Data was collected and analysed using semi-structured interviews with 36 Chinese music consumers based in China. The measurement scale of an emerging variable named normative ambiguity has been developed accordingly, and the development process is embedded in the mixed methods design. In the second phase of the study, a quantitative project based on data from 346 surveys and a Structural Equation Modelling based on Partial Least Squares estimates (PLS-SEM) technique has been adopted to test the proposed theoretical framework and mechanism of how normative ambiguity affects piracy behaviours. Findings A new theme, named normative ambiguity, has emerged as one of the potential impactors on music piracy intentions. The quantitative results confirmed that the findings and insights of the qualitative investigation could be generalised to a wider population, which offers a more comprehensive understanding of the music piracy behaviours among Chinese music consumers or music consumers from other less-developed music markets, as these music markets might share similar characteristics in terms of the music piracy issue. It is expected that the research findings could be applied to the study of other unethical consumer behaviours within the digital domain such as movie piracy and cybercrime. Practical implications This study provides novel insights to the practitioners and policy makers within the music industry. Designing and implementing consumer educational programmes in the purpose of reducing normative ambiguity may lead to lower piracy intentions among music consumers. This, in turn, would reduce the occurrence of music piracy behaviours and perhaps encourage music consumers to subscribe legal digital music services. Moreover, relevant music market participants should use descriptive norm-based appeals as music consumers' perceived descriptive norms are correlated with their music piracy intentions. Originality/value This study is among the first few researches attempts in understanding the music piracy intentions based on mixed methods design. The current research contributes to the existing literature by investigating the relationship between the impact of social norms and intentions to conduct unethical consumer behaviours. Also, by bringing in data from an under-studied context of an emerging economy, this study offers a more comprehensive understanding of the piracy issues from a social-psychological perspective, as the music consumers' viewpoints are taken into considerations when investigating the issue. In addition, the thesis demonstrated the effectiveness of using an exploratory sequential mixed methods design in consumer research.
Supervisor: Chang, Victor ; Oakes, Steve Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral