The influence of power on the success of systems development methodologies
Problem statement: There seem to be perceptual incongruence between systems development managers and developers. Research shows that while managers are more positive towards systems development methodologies, developers on the other hand seem to resist and not to use systems development methodologies in their entirety but instead adapt, tailor, modify and change them depending on the project at hand (contingent use). Systems development managers can exert power through a variety of influence bases. However, these power influences may be perceived differently by developers. While some might feel constrained, others might actually feel liberated by the existence of the same influence base. Main findings: IS managers are using systems development methodologies to gain control over team members. However, there was no clear perception on whether systems development methodologies were enslaving systems developers. This was indicated by the majority of the respondents neither agreeing nor disagreeing to that effect. The research showed that most organisations are adapting the use of systems development methodologies on a project to project basis, which is referred to as the contingent use of systems development methodologies. Research method followed: The positivistic research paradigm was used as it allowed the researcher to find out patterns and regularities between power, systems development methodologies’ use and success. A survey was conducted and a questionnaire was used for data collection purposes. Questionnaire data was analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics Version 21, Release 20.0.0 software package tools. Principal conclusion: Power is interpreted in terms of the type of power that can be exercised by IT professionals specifically IS developers and their respective managers at the workplace. The roles assumed and the different power types that may be exercised in organisations provide a link as to who has the final say when it comes to the use and success rate of systems development methodologies. The contingent use of systems development methodologies provides a form of “freedom” to systems developers. Based on the research findings, the research proposes an answer to the question – are systems development methodologies enslaving systems developers and empowering IS managers?
- Engineering 
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