Trade Liberalization, Corruption, and Software Piracy

Journal of Business Ethics 78 (4):623-634 (2008)


As multinational firms explore new and promising national markets two of the most crucial elements in the strategic decision regarding market-entry are the level of corruption and existing trade barriers. One form of corruption that is crucially important to firms is the theft of intellectual property. In particular, software piracy has become a hotly debated topic due to the deep costs and vast levels of piracy around the world. The purpose of this paper is to assess how laissez-faire trade policies and corruption affect national software piracy rates. Using invisible hand theory, as well as literature from the fields of international strategy and ethics, formal research hypotheses are posited and tested. Results suggest that corruption mediates the relationship between economic freedom and software piracy. Implications for multinational managers and researchers are also addressed

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