Type

Journal Article

Authors

Rory O'Connor
Sharon Ryan

Subjects

Business

Topics
social interaction team tacit knowledge tacit knowledge team performance social psychology personnel management transactive memory software development teams software development process agile teams software engineering knowledge management

Acquiring and sharing tacit knowledge in software development teams: An empirical study (2013)

Abstract Context: Sharing expert knowledge is a key process in developing software products. Since expert knowledge is mostly tacit, the acquisition and sharing of tacit knowledge along with the development of a transactive memory system (TMS) are significant factors in effective software teams. Objective: We seek to enhance our understanding human factors in the software development process and provide support for the agile approach, particularly in its advocacy of social interaction, by answering two questions: How do software development teams acquire and share tacit knowledge? What roles do tacit knowledge and transactive memory play in successful team performance? Method: A theoretical model describing the process for acquiring and sharing tacit knowledge and development of a TMS through social interaction is presented and a second predictive model addresses the two research questions above. The elements of the predictive model and other demographic variables were incorporated into a larger online survey for software development teams, completed by 46 software SMEs, consisting of 181 individual team members. Results: Our results show that team tacit knowledge is acquired and shared directly through good quality social interactions and through the development of a TMS with quality of social interaction playing a greater role than transactive memory. Both TMS and team tacit knowledge predict effectiveness but not efficiency in software teams. Conclusion: It is concluded that TMS and team tacit knowledge can differentiate between low- and high-performing teams in terms of effectiveness, where more effective teams have a competitive advantage in developing new products and bringing them to market. As face-to-face social interaction is key, collocated, functionally rich, domain expert teams are advocated rather than distributed teams, though arguably the team manager may be in a separate geographic location provided that there is frequent communication and effective use of issue tracking tools as in agile teams.
Collections Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Subject = Business
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Subject = Business: Knowledge management
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Publication Type = Article
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Status = Published
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> Faculty of Science and Engineering
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> LERO
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Subject = Computer Science: Software engineering
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> LERO - Project partner authors
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> DCU Faculties and Centres = DCU Faculties and Schools: Faculty of Engineering and Computing: School of Computing
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Subject = Business: Personnel management
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Subject = Social Sciences
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Subject = Computer Science
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> DCU Faculties and Centres = DCU Faculties and Schools
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> DCU Faculties and Centres = DCU Faculties and Schools: Faculty of Engineering and Computing
Ireland -> Dublin City University -> Subject = Social Sciences: Social psychology

Full list of authors on original publication

Rory O'Connor, Sharon Ryan

Experts in our system

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Rory O'Connor
Dublin City University
Total Publications: 197