Licentiate thesis 2003-002

Basic Values in Software Development and Organizational Change

Jenny Persson

March 2003


This thesis is to be seen as a preliminary version of my doctoral thesis. It deals with problems concerning how our basic values influence development processes, mainly within the areas of software development and organizational change. Two main foci are presented, one theoretical and one empirical. The theoretical focus deals with the question: Is there objectivity in the theoretical framework, the knowledge and the experience on which the choices of strategies are based? The empirical focus deals with the question: How can knowledge about healthy work, usability and organizational matters be put into practice in the organizational and software development process? The preliminary conclusion shows that, when put under pressure, basic values are often clearly evident, though not necessarily evident to the individual herself. The will to grasp at models or methods that follow contemporary trends increases as well. In the end, time and money control the process, and all the magnificent ideas of a system built for a better work environment have soon faded away. This loss reflects the basic values in the organization, as well as it reflects a lack of awareness of the consequences of different strategic decisions.

Key Words: Basic Values, Management, Organizational Change, Metaphors, Organizational Learning, Systems Development, Computer Ethics, Occupational Health, Work Environment, Usability

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