Triandis’ Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour
Triandis’ Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour in understanding software piracy Behavior in South Africa Contex
Robinson, J. (2010). Triandis' theory of interpersonal behaviour in understanding software piracy behaviour in the South African context (Doctoral dissertation). p.12-33
1.3 Triandis’ (1977) Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour (TIB)
Triandis’ (1977) Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour (TIB) belongs to a school of cognitive models, namely that of Ajzen and Fishbein’s (1975) Theory of Reasoned Action and Ajzen’s (1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006). The Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behaviour state that the key determinant of behaviour is an individual’s intention to perform a specific act. The original model, Theory of Reasoned Action, was revised and modified, as it did not include behaviours over which people have incomplete volitional control. Therefore, the Theory of Planned Behaviour stated that intention can only lead to behaviour if the particular behaviour is under volitional control (if the person can decide at will to perform or not to perform the behaviour (Ajzen, 1991)). The Theory of Planned Behaviour model consists of “attitudes towards the behaviour’, “ subjective norms’, and „perceived behavioural control’ which in turn influence intention which in turn influences the performance of behaviour.
Triandis (1977) goes beyond these theorists in his tri-level TIB model by adding habits and the presence of facilitating conditions that either enable or hinder the performance of a particular behaviour (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006). Fishbein’s model differs from Triandis’ TIB, in the sense that Fishbein was interested in accounting for the most variance with the fewest variables, whereas Triandis is interested in accounting for the most variance in total, because even a small amount of variance may be socially important, if the behaviour in question is critical (Triandis, 1977). The two models have three specific differences. Firstly, the TIB takes into account habits and facilitating conditions as intervening between intention and behaviour, while Fishbein emphasises that behaviour is a direct function of intentions. Secondly, the TIB considers roles, self-image, and interpersonal agreements, which are not considered in the Fishbein model. Fishbein states that the influence of the above factors will be felt through the individual’s attitude toward the behaviour. Thirdly, the TIB uses affect towards behaviour as a separate factor, whereas, Fishbein assumes that affect is the sum of the perceived consequences multiplied by the value attached to these consequences (Triandis, 1977).
Ajzen’s (1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour has been used widely in understanding a variety of unethical human behaviours and many studies have demonstrated the model’s strong predictive power (Sutton, 1998). Yet, numerous studies (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006; Pee, Woon & Kankanhalli, 2008; Montano, 1986; Valois, Desharnais & Godin, 1988) have also indicated that Triandis’ Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour (TIB) is a more comprehensive model and has additional explanatory value than other behavioural models (TRA and TPB), yet it has been overlooked and as a result used less frequently. The TIB includes all aspects of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) models, and includes additional components that add to its predictive power, namely that of habits, facilitating conditions and affect (Limayem et al., 2004; Woon & Pee, 2004). Previous research making use of Triandis’ TIB has found that including factors such as habit increases the model’s predictive power over other models such as the TPB (Bamberg & Schmidt, 2003: as cited in Woon and Pee, 2004; Thompson, Higgins & Howell, 1991, 1994).
Triandis’ TIB has been used and applied in numerous contexts regarding behaviour in studies post-2000, including Internet abuse in the workplace (Woon and Pee, 2004), sexual behaviour at a Mardi Gras (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006), non-work related computing in the workplace (Pee, Woon & Kankanhalli, 2008), predicting students’ car use for university routes (Bamberg & Schmidt, 2003), telemedicine adoption by physicians (Gagnon, Godin, Gagne, Fortin, Lamothe, Reinharz & Cloutier, 2003), and predicting undergraduate condom use (Boyd & Wandersman, 2006), to name but a few.
Triandis (1977) stated that interpersonal behaviour is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon, due to the fact that in any interpersonal encounter, a person’s behaviour is determined by what that person perceives to be appropriate in that particular situation. This behaviour is subsequently determined by what others pressure them to do, the extent to which the individual enjoys or dislikes the behaviour, and the consequences that are perceived to be associated with the particular behaviour including the extent to which the person values these consequences (Triandis, 1977). Previous behaviours are primarily interpreted according to what is assumed to be the cause of these behaviours. The entire social setting, including aspects of an individual’s personality, has the power to influence and modify interpersonal relations (Triandis, 1977). Triandis’ TIB is predominately used to gain a comprehensive understanding as to what determines behaviour or what factors cause behaviour in general. The TIB is useful in explaining and understanding complex human behaviours predominately those behaviours that are influenced by their social and physical environments (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006).
Triandis (1977) stated that intentions are formed as a result of the key role that is played by both social factors and emotions and then overtly argued that behaviour was primarily a function of the intention to engage in the act (comprised of perceived consequences, affect and social factors), habits (frequency of past behaviour), and facilitating conditions which he considered to be the present situational constraints and conditions. The tri-level model (see Figure 1) developed by Triandis (1977) states that the first level is concerned with the way personal characteristics and prior experiences shape personal attitudes, beliefs and social factors related to the behaviour. The second level explains how cognition, affect and social determinants and personal normative beliefs influence the formation of intentions with regards to a specific behaviour. The third level states that intentions regarding the behaviour, prior experience and situational conditions predict whether or not the person will perform the specific behaviour in question (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006).
Figure 1: Modified Diagrammatic representation of TIB (Egmond & Bruel, 2007).
The TIB model, as shown in Figure 1, starts with examining the behaviour itself and from that point works backwards, identifying the other determinants of behaviour. The theoretical concepts that make up the model of interpersonal behaviour will be discussed in this manner.
1.3.1 Model of Interpersonal Behaviour
The first of the concepts that make up the TIB model is what is referred to as acts. At a basic level, a particular act is conceptualized as a socially defined pattern of muscle movements which differ in terms of duration, intensity, frequency and the possibility of occurrence (Triandis, 1977). Specific acts, for example hitting a person or taking off one’s hat are too brief, are subject to too many influences and too numerous to constitute the appropriate primitive terms of good theory (Triandis, 1977). Behaviours of this nature do not have meaning in themselves, due to the fact that they acquire meaning only from the contexts in which they occur. According to Triandis, behaviour in any situation is a function partly of the intention, partly of habitual responses, and partly of the situational constraints and conditions present in any particular situation in which a behavioural response is initiated (Egmond & Bruel, 2007: Jackson, 2005). The frequency of a particular behaviour is partly determined by how natural the act (software piracy) is for the individual. Behaviours that are natural for an individual have different determinants to those behaviours that rarely occur and that the individual is not prepared for (Triandis, 1977). In terms of behaviour, Triandis states that a person is neither fully deliberative nor fully automatic, neither fully autonomous nor entirely social. Behaviour is influenced by moral beliefs, but the impact of these is moderated both by emotional drives and cognitive limitations (Egmond & Bruel, 2007).
Goals and Intentions
Goals and intentions refer to the second aspect of the model. Behaviours (acts) are characteristically the result of the particular goals and intentions that an individual has. A goal “is an outcome of a sequence of specific acts” (Triandis, 1977, p.5). However, a behavioural intention “is a cognitive antecedent of an act” (Triandis, 1977, p.5). Triandis (1980) stated that, “intention represents an individual’s conscious plan or self-instruction to carry out a behaviour” (cited in Woon & Pee, 2004. p 81). Intentions are considered as either specific or general. Behaviours are connected to specific intentions, as the pattern of behaviour is organized, sequential, and is specific 17 to a particular goal. Any specific intention is normally the manifestation of a number of different general intentions (Triandis, 1977) as intentions are influenced by rational thought, and social, normative and emotional factors (Martiskainen, 2007; Jackson, 2005).
Norms are defined as the “beliefs that certain behaviours are correct, appropriate, or desirable and other behaviours are incorrect, inappropriate, immoral or undesirable” (Triandis, 1977, p.8). Norms are the social rules about what should or should not be done (Egmond & Bruel, 2007). Particular norms that an individual holds are predominately a function of the societal group to which the individual belongs. As a result, some norms are weak whilst others are particularly strong; some norms apply to all people whilst other norms only apply to certain people in particular situations. Breaking a norm can result in certain consequences; however these consequences are diverse and vary between groups and individuals (Triandis, 1977).
Roles refer to sets of behaviours that are considered appropriate for people holding particular positions in a group (Triandis, 1977). Roles and role behaviours are defined differently in different societies. Many traditional societies shape their different roles in order for them to become consistent so that role conflict is avoided (Triandis, 1980). However, in modern societies roles are constantly changing and individuals find themselves belonging to a variety of groups that make conflicting demands upon them, resulting in role conflict (Triandis, 1977).
Self-image falls in line with norms and roles; however self-image refers to “a person’s ideas about who he or she is” (Triandis, 1977, p.9). Self-esteem, referring to how valuable a person feels they are; and the ideas an individual has regarding what behaviours are correct, appropriate or desirable all form part of the „ideas’ that a person holds regarding who he or she is. If an individual thinks of him/herself as 18 moral, their behaviour is likely to be of a high moral standard unlike an individual who does not have a thought of that nature (Triandis, 1977). Self-concept refers to the idea that a person has of him/herself as mentioned above, however it also refers to the goals that are appropriate for the person to pursue, and the behaviours that the person does or does not engage in (Egmond & Bruel, 2007).
Affect toward a particular behaviour refers to the emotions an individual feels at the thought of a particular behaviour (in this study, software piracy). Affect represents an emotional state that the performance of a particular behaviour evokes for that individual (Gagnon, Sanchez & Pons, 2006). Affect refers to an individual’s feelings of elation, pleasure, distaste or discontentment with regards to the particular behaviour in question (Triandis, 1977). These emotions can either be positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant) and either strong or weak (Triandis, 1977). Behaviour may be associated with pleasant stimulation or with disgust, anxiety or distress.
Perceived consequences refer to the subjective probability that certain consequences will follow on from a particular behaviour and that the outcome generated will either hold a positive or negative value for the individual (Woon & Pee, 2004). Triandis (1977) states, that the connection between behaviour and perceived consequences is not always strong. What an individual perceives to be a consequence of their behaviour and the actual consequence that occurs as a result of that behaviour, may differ to a lesser or greater degree (Triandis, 1977). Individuals attach value to consequences, which refers to how good or bad a person would feel if the anticipated consequence were to happen (Limayem et al., 2004). When individuals engage in certain behaviours, they do not always react to the positive outcomes with the same enthusiasm, nor do they get equally upset when the behaviour results in negative outcomes (Triandis, 1977). The following section will discuss the relation between habit, intention and facilitating conditions in determining behaviour.
1.3.2. Relations among Concepts
Triandis (1977) states, that the above concepts are related to one another and to the probability that a particular behaviour will occur.
Determinants of the probability of an Act
The probability that a particular behaviour will occur is determined by three factors; habit (the strength of previous behaviour in producing the target behaviour), behavioural intention (the intention to engage in the particular act), and facilitating conditions (the presence or absence of conditions that facilitate the performance of a particular behaviour) (Triandis, 1977; Osbourne & Clarke, 2006).
In Triandis’ TIB model, he strongly emphasises the importance of past behaviour on the present situation (Jackson, 2005). As a result, habit to act is measured by the number of times the behaviour has already been performed by the individual in the past. Intention refers to the actual behavioural intention a person has to engage in a particular behaviour (Triandis, 1977). Facilitating conditions refer to the ability of the person to actually carry out the behaviour, the individuals’ arousal to carry out the act, and the person’s knowledge of how to carry out the target behaviour (Osbourne & Clarke, 2006). Triandis (1977) states that if a person knows the weight carried by habit and intentions, he or she will be able to gauge the probability of a particular behaviour occurring. Habits and intentions are therefore able to predict the probability of an act, and each variable makes an independent contribution to the prediction.
Triandis (1977) maintained that the potential to engage in a particular behaviour is higher the greater the weight exerted by habit. A habit is considered strong for a number of reasons; the person may engage in the behaviour naturally or the individual may have received positive, large and frequent reinforcement for performing that behaviour in the past; and may have developed the expectation that behaving in this way would lead to reinforcement (Triandis, 1 977). The potential to carry out a particular behaviour is proportional to the behavioural intention which corresponds to that act. Habits and intentions are dependent on the ability of the individual to carry out the particular act (Egmond & Bruel, 2007). It is imperative to understand that the 20 weight of habit is contingent on whether the behaviour in question is over-learned or automatic as opposed to deliberate requiring the cognitive processes of thought and planning. Therefore, the weight of habit will be larger when the behaviour is more deliberate (Triandis, 1977). Behavioural intention requires the activation of cognitive processing of information, which takes more time to do, than the activation of habits. Theoretically, behavioural intention and habit are related, because if intentions are relatively constant over time, they will inevitably cause the same behaviour over and over. Habit reflects the frequency of this behaviour. As the behaviour becomes repeated more frequently, habit increases and becomes a more accurate predictor of behaviour than intention (Triandis, 1977). When behaviour is new and unlearned, intention is solely responsible for the behaviour, whilst when the behaviour is old and over-learned and has been performed numerous times, the behaviour is then said to be under the control of habit. Habit is also deemed to be in control of the behaviour when the individual is highly emotionally aroused (Triandis, 1977).
The social situation and individual differences also play a role in the strength of habit. When the current social situation resembles situations in which the behaviour has occurred in the past, the weight of habit will be larger (Triandis, 1977). The weight of intention is also contingent on the social situation and on individual personality differences. When the social situation is new and the behaviour has not yet become automatic or over-learned, the weight of intention will be larger compared to the weight in situations that are familiar (Triandis, 1977).
Situations characterized by high levels of uncertainty, threat or anxiety lead to individuals experiencing elevated levels of arousal. In situations of this nature, the weight of habit becomes much larger than that of intention. Arousal increases the weight of habit further, so that for over-learned behaviours, arousal will lead to the improved performance of that particular act (Triandis, 1977). When an individual comes into contact with an entirely new behaviour, the weight of habit is seldom significant. However, when arousal increases the weight of habit, it interferes with the new behaviour and as a result performance of that behaviour weakens (Triandis, 1977). 21
Triandis (1980) stated that facilitating conditions include the individual’s ability to perform the act, their level of arousal in regard to the act, the difficulty of the act, the individual’s possession of the knowledge required to perform the act, and the environmental factors present that increase the probability of the behaviour (cited in Osbourne & Clarke, 2006). At any level of habit or intention, the absence or presence of facilitating conditions will have an affect on whether or not the behaviour will be performed. Therefore, if the situation does not allow the individual to carry out the behaviour, habit and intention will have limited relevance (Gagnon, Sanchez & Pons, 2006). As mentioned earlier, when habit has a high/strong weighting the execution of the target behaviour is highly probable. In this instance, facilitating conditions are enabling the behaviour to take place. The objective factors in the environment are conducive to pirating software and are therefore allowing the target behaviour to be executed with ease. However, if the external objective factors in the environment hinder or impede the behaviour from being executed, it is then that the high/strong weighting of habit will be obsolete in the sense that the facilitating conditions will prevent the behaviour from being executed.
As mentioned, an individual must have the ability or skill to carry out the behaviour that he or she has the desire to perform (Triandis, 1980). For example, an individual who has the desire to make unauthorised copies of software needs to possess the required skills to actually perform the behaviour. Facilitating conditions predominately refer to any environmental conditions that make a particular behaviour easy to accomplish, for example the availability of the needed resources or lack of security measures in place that enable an individual to easily engage in a particular behaviour (Osbourne & Clarke, 2006). The environment, in which people find themselves, increases the probability of certain types of behaviours and decreases the probability of others. Triandis (1977) strongly states that facilitating conditions need to be assessed in order to effectively predict behaviour. Triandis (1980) stated that facilitating conditions directly affect the actual behaviour rather than intentions because one might have the intention to perform a certain act, but the environment may not support the behaviour in question and as a result would not be able to be executed (cited in Osbourne & Clarke, 2006). 22
The determinants of Behavioural Intention
The intention to perform a particular behaviour is determined by three factors: social factors, affect in regard to the behaviour, and perceived consequences of the behaviour including the value attached to the consequences (Triandis, 1980).
Social factors are the norms, roles, and general behavioural intentions that form as a result of the interactions between an individual and the people around them. Triandis (1977) includes „contractual arrangements’ under social factors, which are made by an individual with other people including how a person considers a particular behaviour to be consistent with their own self-concept. Perceived social pressure to or not to engage in a particular behaviour affects the intentions to perform an act (Limayem et al., 2004).
Triandis (1977), states that all the factors (to be discussed below) are included under social factors as they all form part of the social component. Rules of behaviour determine some of the variance of behaviour in many social situations. Behaviour in social situations that individuals encounter on a daily basis is predominately governed by a set of rules that dictate how they should behave (Triandis, 1977).
Contractual arrangements are normally rather specific. An arrangement can be as simple as two people arranging to meet at a certain time. Arrangements become the goals that guide a specific chain of behavioural intentions (Triandis, 1977). Therefore, in light of the above example, behavioural intentions such as walking to the car, starting the ignition, driving to the meeting place and so on are all done before meeting at the specified arranged time. Self-monitoring is “self-observation and self-control guided by situational cues to social appropriateness” (Triandis, 1977, p.14). Individuals often decide, prior to social encounters, the „line’ they want to take in presenting themselves to other people. As a result, individuals make sure that their behaviour sticks closely to the „line’ that they have previously decided on. Individuals differ with regard to their self-monitoring. People high in self-monitoring are good at learning what is socially appropriate in new situations; they have superior control over their emotional expressions and are able to use their abilities more effectively in creating the impressions that they desire (Triandis, 1980). The self-concept refers to “self-attributed traits and behaviour patterns” (Triandis, 1977, p.14). Certain behaviours are typically felt to be more consistent with an individual’s self-concept than others. For example, the behaviour of „typing an article’ may be more consistent with an individual’s self-conception than the behaviour of „hitting somebody’. An individual’s behavioural intention will follow from these self-attributed traits. Therefore, self-conceptions have the power to either facilitate or impede an individual’s particular behavioural intention (Triandis, 1980). Our self-concept is strongly influenced by how people around us think of us. This is communicated to us in the way that people act around us, which indicates that we are one thing rather than another. The memory that an individual has of their past behaviour is another contributing factor to their self-concept (Triandis, 1977). An individual’s self-concept is the theory that the individual has constructed about himself or herself, referred to as self-theory. An individual’s belief about the correctness of behaviour can be a powerful predictor of whether or not they will engage in that particular act (Triandis, 1977). Miniscule changes that occur in a person’s self-concept have the potential to change or alter behaviour. Most people behave in ways that are consistent with their self-concept. For example, if an individual conceptualises him/herself as a „bad’ person, they will be more prone to engage in behaviours that are typically characterised as „bad’. The strength of social factors reflects the clarity of the norms, roles, self-concept and interpersonal contracts. The weight that social factors will have is reflected in the extent to which the person believes that they will be exposed if they deviate from the norm, reflecting the strength of the individual’s moral development (Triandis, 1977). Therefore, if the individual’s behaviour is under surveillance, the weight of the social component will be large. When a person’s behaviour is covert, it will have a smaller social weight than when it is overt. Surveillance of an individual’s behaviour is linked to perceived social pressure, which refers to the person’s perception of whether most people important to them think that the behaviour should be performed or not (Limayem et al., 2004).
Affect associated with behaviour refers to the particular assembly of emotions that become activated at the thought of the behaviour (Limayem et al., 2004). “Cues associated with any behaviour, including special cues such as the cognitive representation of the behaviour as a behavioural intention, become associated with certain pleasant or unpleasant outcomes” (Triandis, 1977, p. 16). Behaviours that elicit a particular emotional response may also elicit a variety of behaviours that are consistent with that specific response. There is an association between emotion and behaviour because the thought of the particular behaviour (conditioned stimulus) becomes associated with the emotions attached to pleasant or unpleasant events (unconditioned stimuli) (Triandis, 1977). The affective components strength is dependent on the intensity and frequency of associations of the behaviour with positive or negative events (Triandis, 1980).
Perceived Consequences are an inevitable outcome of engaging in any behaviour. When a particular behaviour leads to a certain outcome and this occurs frequently, the connection between behaviour and the perceived consequence becomes stronger (Osbourne & Clarke, 2006; Triandis, 1977). The value of perceived consequences is dependent on the subjective probability that a particular consequence will follow the behaviour, including the value of that consequence to the individual (Gagnon, Sanchez & Pons, 2006). Human behaviour is predominately goal-directed, we predominately engage in behaviours with the aim of attaining a particular goal that holds a specific value that we desire. Perceived consequences are activated when an individual focuses on a goal; however, the behaviour may not take place if the social factors and affect toward that behaviour are larger or have a greater impact on the individual than the perceived consequences (Triandis, 1977). A particular behaviour may be perceived to lead to a high valued goal; however the individual may experience higher levels of negative affect with regards to the behaviour in question or pressure from his or her peers to refrain from engaging in the behaviour. As a result the behaviour may not take place (Triandis, 1977). This idea of perceived consequences is similar to what Bandura (1977) termed outcome expectations in his Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). Outcome expectations refer to an individual’s perceptions of the specific outcomes that will be generated as a result of behaviour (Bandura, 1977). Bandura (1986) stated that individuals are motivated to engage in a particular behaviour when they have anticipated the possible outcomes of that behaviour prior to its execution and the outcomes are of a high value to the individual. As a result, the anticipated outcome acts as an incentive to behave in a certain manner (Peters, 2009). The strength of perceived consequences or outcome expectations is high when the behaviour is frequently and consistently connected with consequences 25 and when these consequences have a high perceived value, which is either positive or negative (Osbourne & Clarke, 2006). The actual consequences of behaviour serve as feedback (reciprocal exchange), modifying the above components that determine behaviour. Therefore, behaviour has the potential to change attitudes (Triandis, 1977).
Triandis (1977) states that one of the problems surrounding the relationship between attitudes and behaviour is that different researchers have measured attitudes in varying ways. Behavioural intention is the best measure for predicting behaviour, however, since behavioural intention is related to affect, one needs to also consider the studies in which the affect toward the behaviour was measured as suitable for the illustration of the relationship of attitudes to behaviour (Triandis, 1977). Distinctions between different aspects of the attitude concept are somewhat unclear. However, according to Bandura’s SCT (1984) an individual’s cognitions play an important role in influencing behaviour, and as a result an individual’s attitude towards the target behaviour is vital. The reason being that attitudes can be conceptualised as either favourable or unfavourable towards a particular behaviour, influencing whether or not it will be performed (Bandura, 1984). Triandis (1977) states that attitude is a nonexpert’s concept and should be used by social scientists in a loose way, as nonexperts use it. Therefore, Triandis (1977) maintains that an attitude is “an idea charged with affect, predisposing action” (Triandis, 1977, p.200). This definition includes belief, affect, and behavioural intentions toward the attitude object. In Triandis’ (1977) TIB, he uses the concept of attitude loosely because most researchers do not distinguish affect from behavioural intention and often include elements of both when measuring attitude. Taking Triandis’ view into account, research has shown that a person’s attitude towards behaviour (software piracy in this case) is affected by the cognitive beliefs that the person holds regarding the outcomes that will follow from that behaviour (Al-Rafee & Cronan, 2006). The TIB model predicts that, when habit has a high weighting or when facilitating conditions make the behaviour impossible to carry out, attitudes will then be unrelated to behaviour.
Numerous models and theories have been proposed to understand what influences the adoption of certain behaviours. Triandis’ TIB encompasses many of the behavioural determinants found in other psychosocial theories, for example Ajzen’s TPB and Bandura’s SCT (Gagnon, Sanchez & Pons, 2006). All three theories have proven their 26 effectiveness in predicting and explaining a variety of human behaviours in differing contexts. These theories are similar and conceptually overlap, however, SCT and TPB have been used more frequently in the study of behaviour than has Triandis’ TIB. The TIB includes all aspects of the TPB model, however it includes additional components that add to its predictive power, namely that of habits and facilitating conditions (Limayem et al., 2004; Woon & Pee, 2004). Previous research making use of Triandis’ TIB has found that including factors such as habit increases the model’s predictive power (Bamberg & Schmidt, 2003: Woon & Pee, 2004; Thompson, Higgins & Howell, 1991, 1994). As seen above, the TIB has proven its predictive capabilities in explaining and predicting behaviour. The question then arises of why it has not been used in research to the same degree as these other psychosocial models.
Several major criticisms have been launched at Triandis’ TIB. Godin (2008) stated that the TIB is used less frequently by researchers due to the fact that researchers prefer parsimonious (less complex) models. Generally, the more complex a model is, the less it is used in empirical research (Martiskainen, 2007). The TIB contains more variables and constructs that were initially not given much attention within other similar models (facilitating conditions and habits). Another reason why the TIB may be used less frequently is that Triandis does not provide clear guidelines for the operational definition of the variables within his model, unlike the TPB for example. The operational definitions of the variables within the TIB are left to the researcher without clear specifications from Triandis. For example he does not specify the rules for measuring facilitating conditions in reference to a particular behaviour. Godin (2008) states that many researchers were previously unaware that important concepts such as facilitating conditions were apart of the TIB, as many of Triandis’ concepts were incorporated into the TPB as an extended TPB. However, Triandis was one of the first to specify that facilitating conditions have a moderating effect on the intention – behaviour relationship, and that as the influence of habit increases in reference to behaviour, the role of intention weakens. Within the above noted criticism of Triandis’ TIB, one needs to appreciate the continued valuable predictive power of the model with regards to behaviour (Godin, 2008).
Triandis (1977) stated that the capacity of his model to predict behaviour is limited by certain conditions. When the components of the model are consistent, behaviour can 27 be predicted very well. However, when the components are inconsistent, the difficulty by which behaviour is predicted increases. Culture also plays a role, as behaviour can be over-determined by the predictor variables or predictors can be in conflict with one another, which results in prediction error. Prediction of behavior is more accurate when intentions are highly specific; however prediction is difficult when the individual is not highly committed to a certain position (Triandis, 1977).
1.4 Application of Triandis’ TIB in Software Piracy Research
The most recent and only published study on software piracy making use of Triandis’ TIB was conducted by Limayem, Khalifa and Chin (2004), which looked at factors motivating software piracy. The study used a subset of Triandis’ model as other factors (history, culture, ecology, and social situation) were not included as they did not directly influence the two predominant factors that the study was researching, namely that of intentions and behaviour. Limayem et al (2004) hypothesised that these factors did not relate directly to intentions and behaviours. However, there was no indication that the factors excluded from the model were based on empirical investigations, but rather on the authors’ choices. Limayem et al (2004) stated that while these factors may influence software piracy intentions and behaviour, they argued that they would not be able to add extra explanatory power in the predictive sense when the more immediate factors were included in the model.
Limayem et al (2004) stated that factors such as personality, biological and genetic factors were excluded from the model as they did not seem to have well-established measures and were not immediate antecedent factors to intentions and actual behaviour. Limayem et al’s (2004) study consisted of three stages, belief elicitation, a survey of intentions and beliefs, and a survey of piracy behaviour. The purpose of the belief elicitation stage was to gain a list of formative items measuring the specific perceived consequences, facilitating conditions, and social factors that impacted on intentions and behaviours. There was a three-month period between survey two and three, therefore making it a longitudinal study. The results of the study indicated that perceived consequences and social factors had a substantial impact on intentions. Social factors were more influential on intentions than affect. Results also indicated that habits reinforced affect with regards to software piracy. Habits and facilitating conditions significantly affected software piracy behaviour. However, contrary to expectations, intentions did not have a significant influence on behaviour (Limayem et al., 2004).
Limayem et al (2004) acknowledged possible limitations pertaining to their research, namely that of the possibility of participants under-reporting their actual piracy behaviour and the lack of generalizability as a student sample was used. The survey used to assess software piracy behaviour focussed on whether or not the participant had pirated and if so what quantity of software they had pirated three months prior to filling out the first questionnaire; however it failed to assess the act of giving the pirated software to someone else. Limayem et al (2004), suggested that future research should explore the type of software being pirated and the context in which the piracy was occurring as well as the development of a more elaborate model that incorporated additional antecedent factors beyond intentions (Limayem et al., 2004).
1.5 Variables and structural model used in the current research
Perceived Consequences The cognitive or attitudinal element of the model refers to the evaluation of the possible perceived consequences of engaging in the behaviour. Triandis (1980) stated that all behaviours are perceived as having potential outcomes that are either of a positive or negative value including the probability that the outcome will occur (Woon & Pee, 2004) and induce a specific consequence or potential outcome (Limayem et al., 2004). Triandis (1977) maintains that attitudes or potential outcomes influence an individual’s intention to perform a certain behaviour, namely that of the unauthorised copying of software.
Social factors are a composite of norms, roles and self-concept and together have the power at a societal level to influence an individual’s intention towards a particular behaviour (Limayem et al., 2004). Triandis (1980) stated that, “social factors refer to the individual’s internalization of the reference groups’ subjective culture, the specific interpersonal agreements that the individual has made with others in specific social situations” (Woon & Pee, 2004.p 81). Social factors and emotions play an important role in forming intentions towards a particular behaviour (Jackson, 2005). It is this social pressure that has an effect on intentions of whether or not an individual will perform a specific behaviour. Therefore, it is the social pressure at the societal level that has the potential to influence a person’s intention to engage in certain behaviours (Limayem et al., 2004).
Triandis (1977) stated that affect refers to the pure emotion of joy, elation, pleasure, depression, distaste, discontentment, or hatred an individual feels with regards to a particular behaviour. Affect is included in Triandis’ TIB model as he states that literature shows a significant relationship between an individual’s affect towards a particular behaviour and their subsequent intention to perform that particular act (Limayem et al., 2004).
Triandis (1980) stated that, “intention represents an individual’s conscious plan or self-instruction to carry out a behaviour” (cited in Woon & Pee, 2004. p 81). Intentions represent the degree to which an individual is willing to try and invest in the particular behaviour or the amount of effort one is willing to exert in order to perform a particular act. Numerous studies hypothesize that intentions are usually precise predictors of behaviour (Woon & Pee, 2004; Limayem et al., 2004). In Triandis’ view, intentions are immediate antecedents of behaviour (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006). Triandis (1980) stated that behavioural intention refers to the instructions that people give to themselves to behave in particular ways in certain situations (cited in Osbourne & Clarke, 2006).
Triandis (1980) stated that a habit refers to behaviour that has become automatic and therefore occurs without self-instruction and deliberation. Habitual behaviour is a 30 form of automatic and routine behaviour; it refers to behaviour that individuals repeat due to the fact that the behaviour is either easy, comfortable or rewarding (Egmond & Bruel, 2007). When behaviour is habitual, the individual does not engage in reasoning of what may be the best thing to do, as the actual behaviour becomes the individual’s goal in itself rather than the imagined expected outcomes associated with the target behaviour (LaRose et al., 2005). Triandis’ TIB states that the influence of prior experience (habit) is strongest when behaviour parallels closely to a previous behaviour and when that previous behaviour occurred frequently (Milhausen, Reece & Perera, 2006), including the ability of the individual to have the know-how to accomplish specific tasks and behaviours (Limayem et al., 2004). It is through repetition that a „loop’ of automatism develops (Egmond & Bruel, 2007). Triandis (1977) strongly emphasized the effect of habit in influencing behaviour and a variety of studies (Cronan, & Al-Rafee, 2008; Woon & Pee, 2004) have shown its effectiveness in predicting future behaviour. A habit is the general tendency an individual has towards making unauthorised copies of software based on prior experience as it is concerned with a lack of thinking and reasoning processes with regards to the target behaviour.
Included in the notion of habit is deficient self-regulation which refers to a state of inadequate self control over behaviour (LaRose, Mastro & Eastin, 2001; LaRose & Kim, 2006). Bandura’s (1991) self-regulation mechanism of SCT describes how individuals observe their own behaviour, judge the behaviour according to personal and societal standards, and then self-administer incentives to change their behaviour (cited in LaRose, Lai, Lange, Love & Wu, 2005). However when self-regulation is deficient, target behaviours (pirating software) may increase, predominately as a result of habit. As mentioned, the deficient self-regulation conceptualization includes the notion of habit and the repetition of behaviour without active self-instruction (LaRose & Kim, 2006). The connection between self-reactive outcomes and deficient self-regulation is important because it is implicated in the formation of unregulated, repeated, habitual behaviour. In extreme circumstances when excessive use causes serious consequences, such behaviour can be referred to as addictive (LaRose & Kim, 2006). Habit, usually understood in terms of the frequency of past behaviour, can be used to explain additional variance in behaviour. The inclusion of deficient selfregulation within the concept of habit leads to habit being conceptualised as a mental process rather than as an association between measures of past and probable future behaviour (Peters, 2009). Habit is viewed as an automatic recurring behavioural pattern that follows a set cognitive schema (LaRose et al., 2005). In this view, behaviour incorporates both conscious and unconscious processes. Triandis (1977) states that “when the behaviour is institutionalized or routinized - that is, when it has a significant habit component - adding this information to the information about behavioural intentions greatly increases the predictability of the behaviour” (Triandis, 1977, p.206).
Facilitating conditions are defined as the objective factors within the environment that observers agree will enable certain behaviours to be performed with ease (Triandis, 1977). Facilitating conditions form a crucial part in Triandis’ TIB as an individual may have the intention to perform a certain act, however may be unable to do so as their environment prevents the act from being performed. Triandis (1977) stated that facilitating conditions directly affect the actual behaviour instead of the intentions as one may have the intention to perform a particular behaviour, but if the environment does not support this behaviour, it will probably not be executed (Osbourne & Clarke, 2006). Facilitating conditions can either enable or impede the actual act of piracy. Examples of relevant facilitating conditions may include;
- Inappropriate measures in place to prevent the use of unauthorised copies of software
- Insufficient software protection to prevent the unauthorised copying of software
- Lack of awareness and educational campaigns to prevent the use of unauthorised copies of software
- Access to all the physical resources needed to make unauthorised copies of software
This research study has incorporated the concept of need as a motivating factor under facilitating conditions. The need to engage in the unauthorised copying of software may be attributed to individuals being required to have certain software to do their 32 job. The price of software which is an objective factor in the environment may also facilitate or impede an individuals’ need to make unauthorised copies of software. If software was priced lower than it currently is, people may refrain from pirating. In this context, the concept of need refers to an external need or requirement for the job not the intrinsic need of the individual. Examples of relevant questions pertaining to the included concept of need incorporated under facilitating conditions may include;
- Making unauthorised copies of software as software is unaffordable and certain software is needed for the requirements of the job
- Making unauthorised copies of software due to the belief that software is overpriced
Therefore, this research study has included need under facilitating conditions to ascertain if it will provide any insight into whether or not people will engage in the act of software piracy. The research has therefore made use of a modified version of Triandis’ TIB in order to gain an understanding of software piracy behaviour. Triandis’ concept of facilitating conditions has been elaborated to include the concept of need, which may seem obvious, that could be used to gain an understanding of whether it has a substantial impact on impeding or facilitating piracy behaviour.
Behaviour refers to the actual physical act of performing a particular behaviour in the immediate past – within the last three months (Woon & Pee, 2004). Behaviour tested within the last three months is used within this research as it has proved to be an effective time frame used in a previous study (Garbharran & Thatcher, in press). Execution of behaviour in the immediate past is theoretically different from a habit (LaRose & Kim, 2006). For example, copying software may not occur in the context of deficient self-regulation but rather as a conscious cognitive process of needing a certain software package at a specific point in time (it may be cheaper to copy or obtain a pirated copy of a software package currently needed by the individual as an external requirement not an intrinsic need). Habit refers to an individual who makes copies of software that he/she may not currently require; however engages in the behaviour as a result of unconscious processes, deficient self-regulation, occurring without self-instruction and deliberation, rendering the behaviour automatic and therefore repetitive (LaRose et al., 2005).
In the case of this research study, behaviour refers to an individual actively engaging in making unauthorised copies of computer software. Due to the fact that the research is cross-sectional in nature, behaviour refers to the individual engaging in the physical act of making unauthorised copies of computer software in the immediate past (i.e. the last three months). Therefore, habits will determine how frequent the behaviour has been in the past as a result of deficient self-regulation (behaviour that is not under the individual’s self-control) and behaviour will ascertain whether the behaviour is taking place presently under conscious active decision-making processes. Triandis (1977) maintained that behaviour is dependent on habits, intentions and facilitating conditions.
The research will test for moderating effects of facilitating conditions and habits on actual software piracy behaviour. Moderators refer to variables that affect the direction and/or strength of the relations between an independent variable and a dependent variable (Baron & Kenny, 1986). The research will test for moderation effects (see Figure 1) of facilitating conditions on the relationship between intention and behaviour as well as effects on the relationship between habit and behaviour. The study will also test for moderation effects of habit on the relationship between intention and behaviour. The research will test for these possible moderating effects due to the fact that the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable depends on the level of the moderator. The level of the moderator can either increase or decrease the direction and strength of the relationship. The reason why facilitating conditions and habits will be tested for their moderation effects is that moderation implies that the causal relation between two variables changes as a function of the moderator variable (Baron & Kenny, 1986). As mentioned previously, facilitating conditions and habits as possible moderators may possibly have the power to change the relationships displayed in Figure 1. The purpose of this research study is to explore some of the psychological mechanisms that may be able to explain software piracy behaviour. The knowledge gained from these findings is aimed at predicting which prevention strategies may be the most effective in combating this globalized criminal behaviour of software piracy.