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Operational and Strategic Learning in Global Software Development
November/December 2010 (vol. 27 no. 6)
pp. 58-65
Alexander Boden, University of Siegen, Siegen
Bernhard Nett, University of Siegen, Siegen
Volker Wulf, University of Siegen, Siegen
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) increasingly participate in offshore software development. Key competitive SME abilities include detecting market niches and deploying highly flexible software development approaches. Therefore, learning how offshoring affects such capabilities, which are closely related to organizational learning, is crucial. This article presents case studies from two German companies that engage in offshoring of software development. The authors highlight the different structures these companies have chosen for their development work and discuss how they enact those structures. They also discuss how related practices affect strategic and operational aspects of single- and double-loop learning. The case studies show that organizational learning may be a challenge for SMEs engaged in offshoring software development. Moreover, the inability to perform double-loop learning can even lead to failures during organizational restructuring.

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Index Terms:
management, software engineering, project and people management, management of computing and information systems, computing milieux, software development, offshoring, SME, software
Alexander Boden, Bernhard Nett, Volker Wulf, "Operational and Strategic Learning in Global Software Development," IEEE Software, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 58-65, Nov.-Dec. 2010, doi:10.1109/MS.2009.113
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