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Routine interdependencies as a source of stability and flexibility. A study of agile software development teams

Dönmez, Denniz; Grote, Gudela; Brusoni, Stefano

Information and organization. Volume 26:Number 3 (2016, September); pp 63-83 -- Elsevier Science

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  • Title:
    Routine interdependencies as a source of stability and flexibility. A study of agile software development teams
  • Author: Dönmez, Denniz;
    Grote, Gudela;
    Brusoni, Stefano
  • Found In: Information and organization. Volume 26:Number 3 (2016, September); pp 63-83
  • Journal Title: Information and organization
  • Subjects: Comptabilité--Informatique--Périodiques; Systèmes d'information de gestion--Périodiques; Accounting--Data processing--Periodicals; Electronic journals; Information resources management--Periodicals; Information technology--Social aspects--Periodicals; Management information systems--Periodicals; Organizational change--Periodicals; Organizational routines--Routine interdependence--Flexibility and stability balance--Product development--Agile software development; Dewey: 658.4
  • Rights: Licensed
  • Publication Details: Elsevier Science
  • Abstract: Abstract This paper looks at how product development teams balance stability and flexibility. It relies on the analysis of an original, qualitative study of agile software development teams, which operate in an environment characterized by the simultaneous implementation of interdependent organizational routines. We argue that the interdependencies among routines are seized by organizational members who manipulate the level of 'protection' that each routine is granted (i.e. the enforcement of adherence to the routine). Less protection permits flexibility, whereas more protection creates stability. We observe that 'protection' can be exerted along two different, yet related, dimensions: content of the routine and performance of the routine. The interplay of these two dimensions generates a space within which organizational members can vary the level of the routines' protection (regarding their content, or their performance, or both) in order to influence the stability and flexibility of work processes and outcomes. We explain how controlling the interplay of different routines via choices regarding their protection enables teams to balance stability and flexibility. Highlights Achieving both organizational flexibility and stability is crucial but difficult. Multiple interdependent organizational routines can be employed to balance both. Our empirical study details how agile software developers 'protect' the routines. Protection functions via varying levels of enforcement of adherence to the routine. Protecting the routines permits to combine stable/flexible processes/outcomes.
  • Identifier: System Number: ETOCvdc_100063261792.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1471-7727; 10.1016/j.infoandorg.2016.07.001
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): 4481.840500
  • UIN: ETOCvdc_100063261792.0x000001

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