Tensions around the adoption and evolution of software quality management systems: a discourse analytic approach

Sharp, Helen; Woodman, Mark and Hovenden, Fiona (2004). Tensions around the adoption and evolution of software quality management systems: a discourse analytic approach. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 61(2) pp. 219–236.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2003.12.011

Abstract

This paper reports some results from a project to uncover the non-technical factors that affect the adoption and evolution of software quality management systems (SQMS). The data which the paper discusses comes from interviews with people involved in the quality effort in four different companies. Our approach to data collection was to use semi-structured interviews and to encourage interviewees to talk about their experiences of quality management and software development in their own organizations. We analysed this data using discourse analysis, informed by ethnographic observation, and identified a number of themes, one of which was the tensions that exist around the adoption and evolution of SQMS. In this paper, we present and discuss our approach to discourse analysis and some results that illustrate the tensions we found. We hope, thereby, to demonstrate how software engineers may use a technique from the social sciences to better understand their own practices.

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