Exploring Knowing in Practice: An Ethnographic Study of Teams in the Agile Setting
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Studies related to knowledge often fall under the traditional knowledge management discourse which views knowledge as a static and transferable entity. However, the predominant knowledge in agile software development is tacit and resides in the heads of individuals with the expertise. The study acknowledges the importance of human agency and moves away from the view of knowledge as a static entity to the perspective of “knowing” which is constituted in our daily actions and practices. The focus is to examine how “knowing” or knowledgeability is enacted through the practices of teams in agile projects.
A conceptual model was developed from current literature and used as a guide for data collection and analysis. The study subscribed to phenomenological hermeneutics as the philosophical tradition to interpret meaning and the worldviews of the participants. Ethnographic research was conducted in two companies which work with software development using agile methodologies. The findings indicated several practices which were enacted by the two organizations, of which many of them appeared to be interrelated. The “knowing” which was constituted in these practices were categorized as “knowing how to develop competencies/ capabilities” and “knowing how to coordinate effort”.
The practices found in the study were similar to some of the practices commonly cited in current knowledge management literature. Notwithstanding this, new knowledge was not created from the conversion of tacit to explicit knowledge and vice versa. On the contrary, “knowing how” was generated and sustained through the ongoing actions and everyday practices of the individuals in the agile teams.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 73 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-36208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-36208DiVA: diva2:735510
Subject / course
Master Programme in Information Systems, 120 credits
Winter, Jeff, Senior Lecturer
Mörtberg, Christina, Professor