Collective Identity in Software Development - A study on how software developers’ collective self-esteem

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Collective Identity in Software Development - A study on how software developers’ collective self-esteem
Authors: Bäckevik, Andreas
Tholén, Erik
Abstract: Background Software development has progressed towards an agile approach over the last decade, which increases demand for delivering high-quality software with a short time to market. Such an environment requires good communication and teamwork within teams as well as with outside stakeholders in order to attain a state of high performance to be able to reach objectives. Therefore, social interaction is central for a software development team to be successful. Such social interactions form social identities and social structures in both teams and organizations. Objective This thesis investigates possible effects that the collective self-esteem of individuals may have on the effectiveness of software development. Method Interviews were conducted with seven individuals to gain insight and find factors that could be used to explain correlations and causalities between collective self-esteem and software development effectiveness. The qualitative data from interviews were analyzed and summarized using summative content analysis. Furthermore, the seven individuals answered a questionnaire multiple times throughout the timespan of one month. The questionnaire was based on previous research on the topic of collective self-esteem and served as a means to explain the qualitative data. The quantitative data gathered from the questionnaire was tested and analyzed with statistical tests. Results An individual’s collective self-esteem is affected by the context of their groups and perceived effectiveness also varies based on the group context. In this case, it was found that communication played an important role as a mediating effect between collective self-esteem and effectiveness. However, the quantitative results show that there were no direct correlations between the aspects of collective self-esteem and effectiveness. Conclusions We show that many social interactions interplay and affect both individuals’ collective self-esteem and group effectiveness. Specifically, communication stood out as a central factor in the qualitative data which we were not able to find in the quantitative data, as our methods focused on collective self-esteem and effectiveness. Communication should be broken down into several factors to explore the topic further as a mediating effect.
Keywords: Data- och informationsvetenskap;Computer and Information Science
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för data- och informationsteknik (Chalmers)
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers)
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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