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Global software development: practices for cultural differences

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-09-12, 13:58 authored by Marcelo Marinho, Alexandre Luna, SARAH BEECHAM
Drivers for globalization are significant where today's organizations look for cheaper and faster ways to develop software as well as ways to satisfy quality and investment requirements imposed by customers, shareholders, and governments. Given these needs, Global Software Development (GSD) has become a "normal" way of doing business. Working in GSD often require teams of different cultures to work together. A poor understanding of cultural differences can create barriers to trust or missed opportunities. The literature on culture in GSD is either outdated or disparate, requiring practitioners to read many papers to get an overview of how to manage multi-cultural teams. In this study, we aim to highlight how to increase cultural awareness within teams, avoid potential conflict and harness differences for improved team spirit. To answer our research question, "How should cultural differences be managed, identified and communicated to a GSD team?", we conducted a systematic literature review of the GSD literature. A synthesis of solutions found in nineteen studies provided 12 distinct practices that organizations can implement, to include, "provide a cultural knowledge base", "understand and make team members aware of cultural differences" and "plan responses to mitigate occurrences of cultural misunderstandings". These implementable cultural practices go some way to providing solutions to managing multi-cultural development teams, and thus to support one of the problem dimensions in GSD and embrace cultural differences.

History

Publication

19th International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement 2018 (PROFES 2018).;pp. 299-371

Publisher

Springer

Note

peer-reviewed This is the author-created version of the work accepted at the 19th International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement 2018 (PROFES 2018).

Other Funding information

SFI

Rights

The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com

Language

English

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