The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Issue
Volume 12 Issue 2 / Dec 2009  pp129‑198

Editor: Shaun Pather

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The Influence of net Benefits on Collective, Innovative, Configural System use: a Case Study of Small‑to‑Medium Enterprises  pp129‑140

Carla Wilkin

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An Evaluation of the Theory of Planned Behaviour in Consumer Acceptance of Online Video and Television Services  pp141‑150

Yann Truong

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Is a Multi‑Criteria Evaluation Tool Reserved for Experts?  pp151‑162

C. Sanga, I. M Venter

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Evaluating the Performance of Electronic Marketplaces: an Exploration of the Ownership Impact  pp163‑174

Philip O' Reilly, Pat Finnegan

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The Dilution of Effort in Self‑Evaluating Development Teams: Agile Loafing  pp175‑186

John McAvoy, Tom Butler

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Abstract

Attempts to resolve the problems in software development have concentrated on the tools and methodologies used, despite an acceptance by many that it is a sociological problem. An example of this is the procedures and processes surrounding evaluations within projects, yet ultimately it depends on individuals more than process. This paper examines one of the sociological factors inherent in a software development team to determine its impact on evaluation within a project. Social loafing occurs where individual members of a team demonstrate a tendency not to work as hard as they could or should. This "slacking off" occurs because the team provides a degree of anonymity – the individual feels their lack of work will be hidden from evaluation within the overall output of the team. Some authors purport that Agile Software development teams have low incidences of social loafing (though these are opinions rather than research findings); the contrary can also be argued. An examination of the philosophy behind Agile Software Development, demonstrated by the Agile Manifesto, highlighted the possibility of occurrences of social loafing brought about by the Agile values. Agile espouses the importance of cohesive teams, the empowerment of these teams, and the collective ownership and self‑ evaluation of work by the team. These values map onto factors which are described as affecting social loafing. An investigation of two teams over an eight month period examined if the Agile values could lead to incidences of social loafing, specifically when their work is being evaluated The investigation determined that the opposite was actually the case. This paper then goes on to determine why the findings go against the initial hypothesis and to show the impact this can have on those evaluating software development projects. 

 

Keywords: teams, agile software development, social loafing, self-evaluation, participant observation, sociological factors

 

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ICT Evaluation in the Irish Higher Education Sector  pp187‑198

Marian Carcary

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