A Multi-Methodological Approach to Study Systems Development in a Software Organization

A Multi-Methodological Approach to Study Systems Development in a Software Organization

Paivi Ovaska (South Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-060-8.ch134
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Abstract

Large-scale systems development is a complex activity involving number of dependencies that people working together face. Only a few studies concentrate on the coordination of development activities in their organizational context. This research study tries to fill at least part of this gap by studying how systems development process is coordinated in practice. The study uses a multimethodological approach to interpret coordination of systems development process in a contemporary software organization in Finland. The methodology is based on the empirical casestudy approach in which the actions, conceptions, and artefacts of practitioners are analyzed using within-case and cross-case principles. In all the three phases of the study, namely multi-\site coordination, requirement understanding, and working with systems development methods, both the qualitative and quantitative methods were used to an understanding of coordination in systems development. The main contribution of this study is to demonstrate that contemporary systems development is much more complex and more driven by opportunity than is currently acknowledged by researchers. The most challenging part of the research process was the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, because of the lack of multimethodological work done in IS discipline.

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