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Title: Human and social aspects of software development for complex organisations : an online ethnography of software developers
Author: Loureiro-Koechlin, Cecilia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3612 9840
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis addresses the problem of human and social issues that affect software development. It is situated within the field of Information Systems and focuses on the processes of software production used within complex organisational processes: particularly decision-making, collaboration and workflow. Human and social issues are problems and situations caused by the members of the target organisations, software developers, and the dynamics of their working and social interactions. The objective of this thesis is to identify these human and social issues and see how they affect software developers' work. The methodological approach adopted here, is designed from the interpretive point of view. This study takes the perspective of software developers as they possess practical knowledge of complex business settings and current software development practices. Online ethnography is the chosen method that allows this investigation access to virtual communities in which software developers work and exchange experiences. The design of this thesis is as follows: 1. Online data is collected which reflect software developers' beliefs about their work and their target organisations. 2. Data categories are created which show a picture of the current state of affairs in software development. 3. An interpretive theory building strategy is used to create a model of software development based on data categories. The final outcome of this thesis is developed as a complement to Orlikowski's (2000) structurational model of enactment of technologies-in-practice and takes the form of a descriptive, theory based model. This model contributes to the deeper understanding of software development issues. It presents human and social issues that affect the production of software within three different contexts: software development environment, software development practices and complex business organisations. The model generated in this thesis also suggests that software developers' perceptions of human and social issues in complex business organisations are influenced by the developers' background knowledge and experience.
Supervisor: Robson, Wendy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business