IT Value of Software Development: A Multi-Theoretic Perspective

IT Value of Software Development: A Multi-Theoretic Perspective

VenuGopal Balijepally (Prairie View A&M University, USA), Sridhar Nerur (University of Texas at Arlington, USA) and RadhaKanta Mahapatra (University fo Texas at Arlington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-172-8.ch006
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Abstract

Software development in organizations is evolving and increasingly taking a socio-technical hue. While empirical research guided by common sense reasoning has informed researchers and the software community in the past, the increasing social character of software development provides us with the context and the motivation to provide theoretical underpinnings to our empirical work. In this chapter we sample three theoretical domains that could serve our empirical research efforts: social capital, organizational learning and knowledge based view of the firm. We illustrate the utility of these theoretical perspectives by articulating a research model that captures the IT value created by software development teams practicing different methodologies.
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Introduction

The field of software development has undergone significant changes in recent years. A hypercompetitive business environment characterized by change and uncertainty has prompted the software community to evolve new ways of building software. The emerging methodologies follow an evolutionary delivery model (Gilb, 1987) that allows developers to adapt to changing requirements. This is counter to the traditional plan-driven approach that uses a linear process in accomplishing the tasks involved in software development. In such an approach, an enormous amount of time and effort are spent in gathering requirements and evolving specifications with a view to preparing for all foreseeable changes during the lifecycle of the product. In contrast, emerging approaches such as agile methodologies rely on short iterative cycles with continuous stakeholder feedback and frequent planning to cope with and leverage change (Nerur, Mahapatra, and Mangalaraj, 2005).

Agile methodologies have attracted a lot of attention in the recent past. This new approach differs considerably from traditional software development in many ways. Foremost, there is an increased emphasis on self-organizing teams that enjoy greater latitude in goal-setting and decision-making with regard to setting priorities, deadlines, etc. Team members are encouraged to play multiple roles, such as developer, architect and analyst. A shared understanding and vision of the evolving product is facilitated by practices such as joint code ownership, role rotation and reflection workshops. This is in contrast to specialized roles assigned to developers in traditional methodologies. In the agile approach, specifications evolve through constant dialogue and feedback between developers and customers, while in the traditional approach, extensive specifications gathered upfront from customers guide the development process. Thus, there is a perceptible shift from a hierarchical, process driven, and command-and-control based approach to one that emphasizes people-orientation, collaboration, and leadership (Highsmith, 2003).

The changes in methodologies highlight the underlying transformation of software development from a technical enterprise to a more socio-technical endeavor. The lack of theory-driven empirical work in software development may be attributed to the emphasis that was placed on technical aspects of software development. Theoretical grounding of empirical research is still not considered an essential requirement, especially in the software engineering domain. Though there is some evidence of increasing awareness of theoretical issues (Hannay, Sjoberg, and Dyba, 2007; Nerur and Balijepally, 2007), the dominant thinking is predicated on the primacy of common sense reasoning over generalizable theory (Lindblom, 1987). While use of theory is taken for granted in various business disciplines, including several areas of IS research, software development research is still grappling with the issue of whether theory should be used (Hannay et al., 2007). The current social “makeover” of software development provides us with the context and the opportunity to refocus empirical research in software development towards theory building and testing. The centrality and importance accorded to teams and collaboration among team members by emerging methodologies affords an opportunity to draw on the extensive body of knowledge in organizational and management theory.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Hong Zhang, Rajiv Kishore, Ram Ramesh
A conceptual modeling grammar should be based on the theory of ontology and possess clear ontological semantics to represent problem domain... Sample PDF
Semantics of the MibML Conceptual Modeling Grammar: An Ontological Analysis Using the Bunge-Wand-Weber Framework
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Chapter 2
Henry M. Kim, Arijit Sengupta, Mark S. Fox, Mehmet Dalkilic
This paper introduces a measurement ontology for applications to semantic Web applications, specifically for emerging domains such as microarray... Sample PDF
A Measurement Ontology Generalizable for Emerging Domain Applications on the Semantic Web
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Chapter 3
Zhiyuan Chen
Environmental research and knowledge discovery both require extensive use of data stored in various sources and created in different ways for... Sample PDF
Semantic Integration and Knowledge Discovery for Environmental Research
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Chapter 4
Vijayan Sugumaran, Gerald DeHondt
Software reuse has been discussed in the literature for the past three decades and is widely seen as one of the major areas for improving... Sample PDF
Towards Code Reuse and Refactoring as a Practice within Extreme Programming
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Chapter 5
Miguel I. Aguiree-Urreta, George M. Marakas
Requirements elicitation has been recognized as a critical stage in system development projects, yet current models prescribing particular... Sample PDF
Requirements Elicitation Technique Selection: A Theory-Based Contingency Model
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Chapter 6
VenuGopal Balijepally, Sridhar Nerur, RadhaKanta Mahapatra
Software development in organizations is evolving and increasingly taking a socio-technical hue. While empirical research guided by common sense... Sample PDF
IT Value of Software Development: A Multi-Theoretic Perspective
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Chapter 7
Amel Mammar
UB2SQL is a tool for designing and developing database applications using UML and B formal method. The approach supported by UB2SQL consists of two... Sample PDF
UB2SQL: A Tool for Building Database Applications Using UML and B Formal Method
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Chapter 8
Juliette Gutierrez
Crime reports are used to find criminals, prevent further violations, identify problems causing crimes and allocate government resources.... Sample PDF
Using Decision Trees to Predict Crime Reporting
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Chapter 9
Karen Corral, David Schuff, Robert D. St. Louis, Ozgur Turetken
Inefficient and ineffective search is widely recognized as a problem for businesses. The shortcomings of keyword searches have been elaborated upon... Sample PDF
A Model for Estimating the Savings from Dimensional vs. Keyword Search
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Chapter 10
Praveen Madiraju, Rajshekhar Sunderraman, Shamkant B. Navathe, Haibin Wang
Global semantic integrity constraints ensure the integrity and consistency of data spanning distributed databases. In this chapter, we discuss a... Sample PDF
Integrity Constraint Checking for Multiple XML Databases
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Chapter 11
Russel Pears
Data Warehouses are widely used for supporting decision making. On Line Analytical Processing or OLAP is the main vehicle for querying data... Sample PDF
Accelerating Multi Dimensional Queries in Data Warehouses
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Chapter 12
Vikas Agrawal, P. S. Sundararaghavan, Mesbah U. Ahmed, Udayan Nandkeolyar
Data warehouse has become an integral part in developing a DSS in any organization. One of the key architectural issues concerning the efficient... Sample PDF
View Materialization in a Data Cube: Optimization Models and Heuristics
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Chapter 13
Athman Bouguettaya, Zaki Malik, Xumin Liu, Abdelmounaam Rezgui, Lori Korff
The ubiquity of the World Wide Web facilitates the deployment of highly distributed applications. The emergence of Web databases and applications... Sample PDF
WebFINDIT: Providing Data and Service-Centric Access through a Scalable Middleware
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Chapter 14
James E. Wyse
Location-based mobile commerce (LBMC) incorporates location-aware technologies, wire-free connectivity, and server-based repositories of business... Sample PDF
Retrieval Optimization for Server-Based Repositories in Location-Based Mobile Commerce
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Chapter 15
Shing-Han Li, Shi-Ming Huang, David C. Yen, Cheng-Chun Chang
The lifecycle of information system (IS) became relatively shorter compared with earlier days as a result of information technology (IT) revolution... Sample PDF
Migrating Legacy Systems to Web Services Architecture
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Chapter 16
Myeong Ho Lee
The trend toward convergence, initiated by advances in ICT, entails the creation of new value chain networks, made up by partnerships between actors... Sample PDF
A Socio-Technical Interpretation of IT Convergence Services: Applying a Perspective from Actor Network Theory and Complex Adaptive Systems
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Chapter 17
T. Ariyachandra, L. Dong
Past evidence suggests that organizational transformation from IT implementations is rare. Data warehousing promises to be one advanced information... Sample PDF
Understanding Organizational Transformation from IT Implementations: A Look at Structuration Theory
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Chapter 18
Yuan Long, Keng Siau
Drawing on social network theories and previous studies, this research examines the dynamics of social network structures in Open Source Software... Sample PDF
Social Networks Structures in Open Source Software Development Teams
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Chapter 19
Susanta Mitra, Aditya Bagchi, A. K. Bandyopadhyay
A social network defines the structure of a social community like an organization or institution, covering its members and their... Sample PDF
Design of a Data Model for Social Networks Applications
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