The research adopted a descriptive and analytic survey design. According to Zikmund (2003), descriptive research determines and reports the current situation. He added that descriptive research design has an advantage in that it enables the researcher to collect direct information about human behavior. Due to its qualitative nature, human behavior is difficult to study. It lacks direct measurability and requires qualitative methods; Cuddy (2004). This research sought to unveil some human behavioral characteristics. For this reason the researcher preferred a research design that will bring out these aspects.
Limitations of the research design
Qualitative research has several limitations compared to quantitative research. To begin with, qualitative research deals with parameters that can be best described using words other than measures; Banister (2011). In such a case, the researcher may not be able to make a conclusion with certainty. In quantitative research, the researcher uses exact measures to describe the variables under study. The researcher performs mathematical analysis using these measures and makes a conclusion based on the analysis. This is an advantage of quantitative research over qualitative research; Creswell and Clark (2007).
In this specific study, the researcher aimed at studying the relationship between high cost of living and level of music piracy. The variables in this study were level piracy and those factors that determined the cost of living. These include prices of commodities and income distribution among the population. Most of the data that the researcher collected on these variables could not be quantified. This explains why the researcher was inclined towards qualitative research design.
Data analysis is another aspect that differentiates qualitative research from quantitative research. In quantitative research, mathematical methods are used in data analysis. These include calculation of measures of central tendency. According to Creswell and Clark (2007), these include the mean, mode and median. They are the measures that show how a given set of data is centrally placed; Bickman & Rog (2008). In research, these measures are used to compare responses. The other measures used in quantitative research are measures of dispersion. Freund and Wilson (2003) described these as the measures that are used by a researcher to access how the collected data has been spread. These include standard deviation and variance among others. The researcher in a quantitative study can also use hypothesis testing measures like chi-square tests and T-tests. These are measures used to test the collected data against the pre-stated hypotheses. In qualitative research, the researcher has two options. The first option that is available is evaluation of data using intuition. The researcher can decide to apply his or her intuition to analyze the data. This involves looking at how the variables relate. The second option that a researcher using qualitative research design can apply is coding of data. This according to Eriksson and Kovalainen (2008) includes assigning numbers to responses. Once the data has been coded, the researcher can use quantitative methods to analyze the data. However, the scale of coded data is different from the one used in quantitative research. The researcher is limited from performing some operation using the data.
Variables used in the study
In this study, there are several independent and dependent variables. According to Freund and Wilson (2003), independent variables are those variables that are manipulated by a researcher. They are those variables that the researcher changes to observe the resultant changes in the dependent variables. The dependent variable according to Boniface (2005) is the observed variable. In this case it is the level of piracy is the dependent variable.
In this experiment, there are several independent variables. In this study there are several independent variables. These include all the factors that the researcher manipulates to observe the resultant influence on the level of piracy. They include such factors as prices of music products like blue ray disks. In this study, the researcher compares the prices of different music products with the perceived level of piracy on these products. Another independent variable that the researcher looks at is the accessibility of the commercial music products. The researcher sought to evaluate the influence of this variable on the level of piracy on the music products. The third independent variable that the researcher looks at is the cost of living. To arrive at this variable, the researcher combines the prices of commodities with the income generated by the people. The researcher looks at the trend of product prices over a period of time as well as the incomes. He then looks at the levels of piracy over the same time.
The target population of the study comprises of all users of music products in the Russian Federation. However, the results will be generalised to other parts of the world. According to (Nachmias & Nachmias, 1996), population refers to a group of elements or cases whether individual or objects that conform to a given criteria and which the researcher wishes to generalize the results of the research. Target population is a large pool of items from which a representative sample is selected. In this study, the researcher is interested with examination of the factors that have led to the increased levels of piracy in the recent past. Knopper (2009), points out that the menace is one of Russia?s greatest challenges. The researcher chose on several cities in Russia to carry out the research. These include Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg. Novosibirsk was chosen for its consumption of music products. According to Chapayev (2001), Novosibirsk is one of cities in Russia where music is highly consumed. St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg were chosen for hosting a large number of youths. Youths between 15 and 30 years are among the major consumers of music products in the Russian Federation; Pet?ka (2003). Finally Moscow was chosen for its high population. It is the most populated Russian city; Vanya (2009). In social research, it is important to have a combination of several demographic factors; Rohwer (2010).
A sample is a subset of the population (Nachmias & Nachmias, 1996). It is a portion of a larger population that is representative of the entire population. Sampling is the process of selecting a number of items from the population. The selection is done such that the items selected will form a representative sample. According to (Panneerselvam, 2004), a representative sample size should be selected with the population in mind. He added that for a large population size, a sample of 2 percent is a good representation. This research adopted a systematic linear random sampling. Creswell and Clark (2007) defines this method as the process of selecting a representation of the population that gives every group of items in the population an equal probability of being selected into the sample. This method is used when the population is relatively large and when it is difficult to allocate equal chances to individual items of the population. To ensure that the items are randomly selected, they are put into groups of considerable sizes; Fox (2004). The formula used to obtain the sample is:
Where: r is random number
N- Total population
Where n is the sample size.
Every 10th group is included in the sample. Using the above method, a sample size of 100 city respondents were chosen from four Russia?s cities. They were randomly selected from Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg. Out of the respondents included in the sample. 70 percent were aged between 15 and 30. The remaining 30 percent comprised of those respondents beyond 30 years of age.
Instrumentation/ Statistical tools
The research employed questionnaires and interviews the methods of data collection. According to Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2003), questionnaires are sets of questions that are used to obtain important information about a population. The questions in a questionnaire are organised in a technical manner to avoid boring the respondents. Interviews on the other hand are research instruments that involve oral questions directed to the interviewees with an aim of collecting data for use in the research; Gummesson (2000). The research also applied observation methods. In this case, the researcher observed the extent of piracy in cases where it was observable.
Reliability of the instruments
Bryman (2004) defined reliability as the degree to which the values obtained by an instrument are free from measurement errors. These errors are referred to as random errors; Eye (2000). The questionnaire was pilot tested before the study to ensure that it was fit for purpose. The results of the pilot test were used to make some adjustments on the questionnaire. This increased the reliability coefficient of the questionnaire to 0.8.
Validity of the questionnaire
Walliman (2006) defined validity as the extent to which an instrument measures what it has been assigned to measure. (Panneerselvam, 2004) noted that validity is the degree to which the sample of test items represents the contents that the test is supposed to measure. The questionnaire was subjected to construct and content validity tests during piloting.
The researcher collected data from all the respondents included in the sample. To begin with, the researcher observed the rate at which every respondent was using internet tools. The researcher interviewed every 10th respondent (total of 10) on the observed use of internet to get access to music products. The researcher first used the questionnaires to get an insight on why the respondents had decided to use internet other than purchasing licensed music products. After the questionnaires, the researcher conducted interviews with every 10th respondent which contained questions that were not covered in the questionnaire. The reason for administration of the questionnaire was to gather any other data that could help in determination of the factors leading to the current levels of piracy.
Data analysis and presentation
A combination of both primary and secondary data was used. Primary data was collected through administering of questionnaires to the target sample, interviews and observation. Secondary data was obtained from textbooks, journals, magazines and the Internet. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 12 was used to analyze the data. Before analysis, the data was coded. According to Gaur & Gaur (2009), SPSS is preferred for its speed, accuracy and availability. Descriptive statistics including percentages were used in order to summarize data. They have been mostly used in the research due to their simplicity. Considering the education levels of the population, they are the most efficient methods of analyzing the data. They are easily understood (Panneerselvam, 2004). Jupp and Publications (2006) defined descriptive statistics as statistical procedures used for describing and analyzing data that enable the researcher to organize data in an effective and meaningful way. Inferential statistics including chi-square test and cross tabulation were used to test for independence. Singh, K. (2007) defined chi-square test as a statistical technique, which attempts to establish a relationship between two variables, both of which are categorical in nature. However, the chi-square was not been emphasized in the report due to its complexity. Tables and graphs were used for data presentation.
Ethical issues in the research
Several ethical issues were observed in the research. According to Walliman (2006), a researcher should observe ethics at all times. In this study, the researcher has relied greatly on the respondents. According to Sherman & Webb (2008), a high level of ethics should be applied in research. Apart from secondary data from textbooks and previous research, all the other data will be provided by the respondents. The researcher should therefore hold the respondents with due care. This ensures that all the information held within the respondents is submitted to the researchers; Yang (2010).
The questions were framed in a manner that is not likely to offend the respondents. The research was very careful when interviewing the managers. Interview questions were well framed to ensure that all information was extracted. Finally, the researcher assured all the respondents that the information collected was going to be treated with utmost confidentiality.