Adoptive governance in distributed agile development projects

Download files
Access & Terms of Use
open access
Embargoed until 2019-08-31
Copyright: Thomson, Esmeralda
The current study responds to calls for research to increase the knowledge on how development firms could generate and enhance value from their distributed IT projects. Recent literature indicates the need for studies to address significant challenges of distributed information systems development teams, such as cultural incompatibility, lack of trust, customer collaboration, communication, lack of control and coordination (Mattsson et al. 2010). Based on a qualitative exploratory single-case study, this dissertation is concerned with the institution of effective governance frameworks to address distributed development project challenges, an area of research that is currently lacking empirical studies. In particular, the current study is seeking to understand how social governance mechanisms affect the governance of distributed software development projects. The current study shows the role and intervening processes of social governance mechanisms (Jones et al. 1997), including restricted access, macroculture, collective sanctions and reputation, to coordinate activities and safeguard exchanges. Furthermore, the current study suggests that to apply these social governance mechanisms effectively, it is critical that organisations maintain congruency among them. The study also found that all the four social governance mechanisms of the Jones et al. (1997) model interact with each other, thus showing the critical importance of macroculture among the social governance mechanisms and the impact that macroculture has on other mechanisms. Moreover, the current study found that the mentioned four social governance mechanisms are context dependent and have different impacts on safeguarding and coordinating exchanges in various contexts including Open Source Software. The current study also found a new construct, ideological similarity , which is about a preference for more frequent interactions among project teams with similar interests to facilitate smooth interactions and enhance coordination. The study also provides effective practices, such as co-locating distributed teams at the start of the project and through the project life cycle.
Persistent link to this record
Link to Publisher Version
Link to Open Access Version
Additional Link
Thomson, Esmeralda
Stevens, Ken
Fernandez, Walter
Conference Proceedings Editor(s)
Other Contributor(s)
Corporate/Industry Contributor(s)
Publication Year
Resource Type
Degree Type
PhD Doctorate
UNSW Faculty
download public version.pdf 6.46 MB Adobe Portable Document Format
Related dataset(s)