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Abstract

Purpose: Agile software development helps software producing organizations to respond to manifold challeng-es. While prior research focused on agility as a project or process phenomenon, we suggest that agility is an emergent phenomenon on the team level. Research approach: Using the theory of complex adaptive systems (CASs), we capture the multiple influencing levels of software development teams (SDTs) and their interplay with self-organization and emergence. We investigate three agile SDTs in different contextual environments that participate with four or more different roles each. Findings: The results suggest self-organization as a central process when understanding team agility. While contextual factors often provide restriction on self-organization, they can help the team to enhance its autono-my. Research implications: Our theoretical contributions result from the development and test of theory-grounded propositions and the investigation of mature agile development teams. Practical implications: Our findings help practitioners to improve the cost-effectiveness ratio of their team’s operations. Originality: The study provides empirical evidence for the emergence of team agility in agile SDTs. Using the lens of CAS; the study suggests the importance of the team's autonomy.
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... While changing from a defined process model to an empirical process model has significant implications for managing ISD projects, Dingsøyr et al. (2012) found that agile research has started to focus on its inherently complicated management issues. These issues may pertain to managing outsourced collaboration (Batra, Xia, & Zhang, 2017), risks (Ghobadi & Mathiassen, 2017), client benefits (Jørgensen, 2016), contract types (Jørgensen, Mohagheghi, & Grimstad, 2017), technical debt (Behutiye, Rodríguez, Oivo, & Tosun, 2017), coordination artifacts (Zaitsev, Gal, & Tan, 2020), and agility's emergence (Werder & Maedche, 2018). Even in the broader management discourse, the agile concept has grown considerably in popularity beyond ISD projects (Cram & Newell, 2016;Madsen, 2020). ...
... Agility is not merely the result of selecting a relationship that follows an agile process. Hence, the supplier team's agility and productivity needed time to emerge through the rehearsal sprints, consistent with the perspective on agility as an emergent phenomenon of self-organization that needs management support (Werder & Maedche, 2018). Moreover, the supplier team and the client organization used Scrum boards to coordinate their efforts towards building the team's agility and ability to perform. ...
... A team's agility is an emergent phenomenon that evolves through a process of self-organization dependent on management support and development length (Werder & Maedche, 2018). ...
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Although agile principles are widely adopted for information systems development (ISD), we know little about the use of agile principles in outsourced ISD projects, especially from a client perspective. Client organizations have been reluctant to adopt agile principles in outsourced relationships because of the traditional dominance of fixed-price contracting and lack of knowledge on creating client value without jeopardizing supplier interests. Against this backdrop, we apply a trust-control duality perspective to understand and explain how a Danish government agency successfully outsourced an ISD project to a supplier based on agile principles and time-and-material contracting. Drawing on these findings and extant literature, we offer theoretical and practical contributions to the literature on outsourced agile ISDfocused on managing such arrangements and on using a trust-control duality perspective to understand the client’s relationship with suppliers.
... Following the 2001 manifesto, the term Agile was adopted in many publications on project management [42], [43]. However, research on this concept is still mostly related to the software development sector [44], [45]. As concluded by Bianchi et al. (2020), an agile methodology is more adequate, and can prevent deviations, when requirements and needs are little known or unstable, especially in fast-changing contexts (mainly in the information technology field) [46]. ...
... Werder and Maedche [45] argued that agility relies on two concepts: flexibility and leanness. Flexibility is defined as the capacity to initiate and to respond quickly to change (not necessarily a disruptive event). ...
... Flexibility is defined as the capacity to initiate and to respond quickly to change (not necessarily a disruptive event). Leanness, on the other hand, aims to provide additional value based on the outcome of responding to a change [45]. Like Conforto et al. [12], these authors emphasize the importance of customers, users and stakeholders, which are, in many cases, the sources of changes. ...
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... Such apps provide features such as periodic performance reviews and appraisals, and employee recognition (Berges & Kon, 2019). Other examples include social media platforms and specialised software fostering teamwork between internal stakeholders (Schuchmann & Seufert, 2015;Werder & Maedche, 2018). For example, call centre employees set up social media platforms such as Facebook 'to share ideas, collaborate across silos and self-organise' (Dery et al., 2017, p. 140). ...
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... This value-orientation can be used as a decisive factor for classifying organisations into maturity levels. Accordingly, Werder and Maedche (2018) separate three states of maturity in agile organisations, i.e. (1) starting or (2) being in the middle of their transition, and (3) being more mature in their organisational agility. Aghina et al. (2020) developed the following criteria to comprehensively assess agility maturity in large organisations: (1) a shared purpose and vision embodied across the organisation, (2) a network of empowered teams, (3) rapid decision and learning cycles, (4) dynamic people model that ignites passion, (5) next-generation enabling technology. ...
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The current agile management literature is missing insight about the challenges agile organisations face regarding human resource management (HRM/HR) – and how they may overcome them. Based on an exploratory case study design, we investigate the managerial challenges in seven pioneering companies, all of them medium-sized firms (SME) from the IT sector in Switzerland. The majority of the qualitative data gathered stems from interviews, that was coded along emerging themes. The results are divided into three sections: a proposed (1) typology for Business Agilists, (2) general challenges and (3) emergent agile HR capabilities. Following the proposition of agile HR as a distributed capability, we discuss several theoretical and practical implications. In essence, particular attention is to be placed on a cultural fit between employees and the agile working environment, which demands individuals to be highly self-reliant and autonomous. This entails the need for a flexible support structure to grow employees’ skills accordingly. The conclusion emphasises addressing the shared responsibility for HR work and the corresponding broad capability development of different role holders, resulting in the suggestion to replace the term HR with people management as a more inclusive bracket for integrative HR, culture and leadership work in agile organisations.
... In the second stage of the data-gathering process, the sample was obtained through the non-random sampling method (Ramadani et al., 2019). This kind of sampling method is specifically useful when the network borders are blurred, and thus difficult to determine (Wasserman and Faust, 1997). Likewise, in line with this logic, prior identification of two remaining partners in the service triads is infeasible (Odongo et al., 2017). ...
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... Despite being an important team property, the way in which agility is affected by incorporating assistive AI agents into human teams is still unclear. In particular, team agility is the ability of a team to keenly capture (if not obvious) and nimbly adapt to changing information, requirements, and strategically-relevant conditions from both inside and outside the team (Yusuf et al., 1999;Sherehiy et al., 2007;Appelbaum et al., 2017;Werder & Maedche, 2018). Agility is crucial for teams to address large, complex problems and sustain a competitive edge in dynamic environments, but also difficult to achieve in practice. ...
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