Debugging The System The Impact Of Dispersion On The Identity Of Software Team Members


Marks A & Lockyer C (2005) Debugging The System The Impact Of Dispersion On The Identity Of Software Team Members. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16 (2), pp. 219-237.

This paper looks at the impact of dispersion of groups of software workers on team and organizational identification. The paper examines at two case studies of software organizations operating in Scotland. One case study is drawn from a software division of a large national telecommunications company, the other from a medium-sized indigenous software firm. Within each organization we examined groups of employees based within and outwith their employing organizations. Our results were broadly consistent with established work within other sectors in finding that the team largely replaced the organization as a focus for identification. However, we also found that there was no difference in the salience of organizational identification between dispersed employees and those based within their employing organization. For many employees the focus on the team as opposed to the organization was a way of reducing subjective uncertainty within a changing corporate environment. Finally, we established that it is team identification rather than organizational identification for software workers that is a greater determinant of affective outcomes such as job satisfaction. The results of this study impact upon contemporary theories of HRM, which promote the design of work systems in order to engender commitment to, and identification with, the organization.

Teams; dispersion; knowledge-intensive work; identification; software work

The International Journal of Human Resource Management: Volume 16, Issue 2

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date28/02/2005
Publication date online17/02/2007