University of Limerick
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Global software development: a multiple-case study of the realisation of the benefits

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posted on 2010-07-26, 16:28 authored by Eoin Ó Conchúir
Global software development (GSD) encompasses all software development where people located in different parts of the world are working together to produce software. Software development in itself is a complex process. GSD increases those complexities, as it involves people coordinating across significant geographical and temporal distance. It also typically involves people working together who come from different national and organisational cultures. This mixture of distances brings with it both challenges and benefits. While working across significant distances can prove to be problematic, there have also been numerous benefits associated with GSD. Through the medium of Internet communication technologies, companies can tap into new expanding employment markets offering thousands of graduates with good education in software development skills. Moreover, these expanding employment markets typically demand salaries that may be many times lower than at higher-cost locations such as the US and Western Europe. This thesis focuses on two multi-national companies with significant GSD activities. The aim of the study was to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the potential benefits of GSD. Previous studies have offered some conflicting conclusions on characteristics of GSD – whether those characteristics are indeed beneficial and whether they are being realised in industry. While providing a synthesis and characterisation of numerous potential benefits of GSD through a structured framework, the thesis also examines in detail the realisation of these benefits in practice. The conclusions of the empirical study will help both researchers and practitioners to better understand which benefits are already being realised in practice, and how they can best be realised.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Fitzgerald, Brian

Second supervisor

Holmstrom Olsson, Helena





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