Software Engineers' Attitudes Towards Organizational Change - an Industrial Case Study [article]

Per Lenberg, Lars Göran Wallgren, Robert Feldt
2016 arXiv   pre-print
In order to cope with a complex and changing environment, industries seek to find new and more efficient ways to conduct their business. According to previous research, many of these change efforts fail to achieve their intended aims. Researchers have therefore sought to identify factors that increase the likelihood of success and found that employees' attitude towards change is one of the most critical. The ability to manage change is especially important in software engineering organizations,
more » ... where rapid changes in influential technologies and constantly evolving methodologies create a turbulent environment. Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge, no studies exist that explore attitude towards change in a software engineering organization. In this case study, we have used industry data to examine if the knowledge about the intended change outcome, the understanding of the need for change, and the feelings of participation affect software engineers' openness to change and readiness for change respectively, two commonly used attitude constructs. The result of two separate multiple regression analysis showed that openness to change is predicted by all three concepts, while readiness for change is predicted by need for change and participation. In addition, our research also provides a hierarchy with respect to the three predictive constructs' degree of impact. Ultimately, our result can help managers in software engineering organizations to increase the likelihood of successfully implementing change initiatives that result in a changed organizational behavior. However, the first-order models we propose are to be recognized as early approximations that captures the most significant effects and should therefore, in future research, be extended to include additional software engineering unique factors.
arXiv:1601.05837v1 fatcat:uh57ubqakzd2lnpajmuywitwla