Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Breaking the flow: a study of contradictions in information systems development (ISD)

Buy Article:

$43.07 + tax (Refund Policy)

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine contradictions (specifically tertiary and quaternary contradictions) that can disrupt the flow of work in contemporary systems development methods.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses Activity theory (AT) as a theoretical lens to: examine ISD flow as an interrelated activity system; and identify contradictions. AT is pertinent in the context of this study as rather than view contradictions as a threat to prematurely abandon the use of flow tools and metrics, it shows how contradictions can act as a motor for change and continuity. This study adopts a longitudinal single case study approach including face-to-face interviews with management and software development project teams, as well as direct observations and document analysis.

Findings

This study identifies tertiary and quaternary contradictions, and highlights the influence of contradictions on flow-based systems development.

Social implications

This study provides a set of contradictions for researchers and practitioners. It shows that contradictions can be culturally or politically challenging to confront, and even when resolved, can have intended or unintended consequences.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study ISD flow from the perspective of interrelated activity systems and beyond its initial implementation phase.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Activity theory; Case study; Information system development; Qualitative method

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Lero∣The Irish Software Research Centre, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland

Publication date: August 23, 2019

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more