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Systems Development Process Improvement: A Knowledge Integration Perspective

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3 Author(s)
Patnayakuni, R. ; Dept. of Accounting & Inf. Syst, Alabama Univ., Huntsville, AL ; Arun Rai ; Tiwana, A.

Although organizations have applied a variety of practices and tools to address information systems development (ISD) performance problems, most of these approaches have focused on controlling and improving predictability of the development process. There is growing recognition that ISD is a knowledge-intensive process that requires the integration of specialized stakeholder knowledge. We develop the perspective that integration of this specialized knowledge across knowledge boundaries in the ISD process drives ISD performance. We theorize that formal and informal organizational integrative practices influence ISD performance, because they facilitate the development of boundary objects that effectively span knowledge boundaries. Results from a field study of 110 firms provide considerable support for the proposed model. This paper makes three novel contributions to the technology management literature. First, it demonstrates that knowledge integration across knowledge boundaries through boundary objects improves ISD performance. Second, it shows how formal and informal organizational integrative practices enhance the integration of specialized knowledge within and across organizational subunits. Third, it shows that the positive influence of formal and informal organizational integrative practices on ISD performance is partially mediated by knowledge integration. For engineering and technology managers, the results highlight the centrality of knowledge integration for the management of technology development. Collectively, these findings offer a novel knowledge integration-based perspective that complements prior research on systems development and new product development

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 2 )