Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cross-Cultural Software Production

Walsham (2002) examines cross cultural software production by applying structuration theory. He illustrates his research through two case studies. The research focuses on four key elements (cross cultural contradiction and conflict, cultural heterogeneity, detailed work patterns in different cultures, and the dynamic nature of culture) to emphasis his hypothesis that the structuration theory enables a more sophisticated and detailed consideration of issues in cross cultural software production. Structuration theory describes the nature of human action and social organization. The theory views action and structure as two aspects of the same whole rather than seeing action take place within the constraints of social structure. Within the two case studies, Walsham (2002) defines and analyzes structure, culture, cross-cultural contradiction and conflict, and reflexivity and change. Through his analysis, Walsham (2002) creates a comparison table of different theories to illustrate his concept that structuration theory provides the most detailed outcome.

Walsham (2002) draws conclusions that business can achieve cross cultural education and training through readings, formal trainings, and on the job facilitation. To assist with the goals, he recommends open discussions about difficult cross cultural issues as starting points to increase understanding in cross cultural teams.


Walsham, G. (2002). Cross-cultural software production and use: a structurational analysis. MIS quarterly, 359-380.

1 comment:

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