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Dangerous liaisons? Component-based development and organizational subcultures

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4 Author(s)
Huang, J.C. ; Nottingham Univ. Bus. Sch., UK ; Newell, Sue ; Galliers, R.D. ; Shan-Ling Pan

This paper presents an exploratory case study of the investment banking arm of a multinational banking corporation (Invebank) and its attempt to introduce component-based development (CBD). Based on a logic of opposition and utilizing literature on organizational culture and metaphors as an analytical device, issues confronting Invebank in CBD adoption are identified. In particular, problems in CBD implementation were encountered because, while CBD requires extensive knowledge sharing and collaboration, subcultural differences in Invebank meant that this proved difficult to enact. Thus, the paper considers the complexities of subcultural differences in firms and provides a salutary reminder that the implementation of corporate-wide integrative "solutions" such as CBD, may be problematic. Further, there is more to the issue of organizational subcultural differences than the oft-cited business-information technology (IT) divide. Nevertheless, the case demonstrates that subcultural differences should not simply be viewed as a threat. Rather, the recognition and discussion of these differences can provide a stimulus for identifying limitations of the policies surrounding technology implementation and use that if changed could help to maximize the benefits of the technology. Simplistic entreaties to knowledge sharing and the nurture of collaboration and consensus are, thus, brought into question. Implications for further research into the implementation of integrative software solutions like CBD in multifunctional and multifarious organizations are also considered.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 1 )