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Do Reflexive Software Development Teams Perform Better?

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Abstract

Reflexivity, the extent to which teams reflect upon and modify their functioning, is widely recognized as a key factor influencing performance of work teams. The paper proposes that outcome interdependence, defined as the extent to which team members perceive that attainment of goals by their colleagues will facilitate their own goal achievement, will moderate the effect of team reflexivity on its performance. An empirical study with 332 team members of 34 software projects reveals that as predicted team reflexivity and outcome interdependence have both synergistic and antagonistic impacts on team performance. While high outcome interdependence magnified the positive impacts of team reflexivity on its effectiveness, an increase in team reflexivity at low outcome interdependence had a deleterious impact. However, an opposite effect was observed for team efficiency. Further, agile teams demonstrated higher outcome interdependence and team reflexivity, and thereby higher effectiveness, but lower efficiency, compared to teams adopting plan-drive methods of software development. Finally, in general, agile software development projects performed better than plan driven projects for innovative software development, while projects adopting plan-driven methods performed better than agile projects for routine software development.

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Correspondence to Adarsh Kumar Kakar.

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Accepted after one revision by Prof. Dr. Becker.

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Kakar, A.K. Do Reflexive Software Development Teams Perform Better?. Bus Inf Syst Eng 59, 347–359 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-017-0481-5

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