Acceptance Of Systems Development Methodologies: Testing A Theoretically Integrated Model
Bonner, Nancy A.
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Industry reports continue to portray a dismal picture of software development project success. Software projects continue to be over budget, overdue and lacking in quality and desired functionality. A variety of innovative methodologies and tools have been introduced to aid in improving the software development process. However, there has been reluctance to commit to their usage. The goal of this research is to examine the reasons a software developer makes a commitment to use a given development methodology. We used a theoretically integrated approach to study this phenomenon, drawing on theories from the fields of marketing as well as psychology. This thesis is in the form of a three essay structure. In the first essay, we developed an instrument to measure process agility and applied the instrument in an empirical study. The second essay investigated the impact of process agility as well as specific innovation characteristics on a developer's commitment to using the methodology. Applying the psychological theory of Self-Determination, we explored whether there are innate psychological needs that mediate the relationship between these factors and an individual's commitment to using the methodology. The third summarizes the results of the second study for practitioners, providing industry with information to aid in the implementation of new development methodologies and processes. This research makes significant contributions. First, it conceptualizes, operationalizes, and develops a standard measure of process agility in the context of software development methodologies. Second it applies the process agility instrument to investigate the relationship between the agility of a methodology and a developer's motivation to be committed to the methodology thus presenting empirical support for a positive relationship between process agility and developer motivation. Third, it builds upon prior research by integrating Self-Determination Theory (SDT) into current usage models, thereby providing an explanatory link between Diffusion Theory with its associated factors and individual commitment to usage. This contributes toward a deeper understanding of the underlying reasons for the effects of certain factors on technology implementation as well as making significant progress toward the development of a model for determining individual developers' intention to commit to and support the use of a given software development methodology. Fourth, this research provides insight and helpful diagnostics to facilitate and assist practitioners in their efforts to implement new software development methodologies. Finally, it gives direction for future research in terms of employing the agility measurement instrument to examine other phenomena such as project outcomes as well as providing for further validation of the Software Development Methodology acceptance model.