A Case Study of User Adherence and Software Project Performance Barriers from a Sociotechnical Viewpoint

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 787)


A marine propeller company and a technical university collaborated to optimize the company’s existing propeller design software. This paper reviews the project based on a sociotechnical perspective to organizational change on (a) how the university-company project and user involvement were organized, and (b) what the main management barriers were and why they may have occurred. Fieldwork included interviews and observations with university and company stakeholders over thirteen months. The data was analyzed and sorted into themes describing the barriers, such as lack of a planned strategy for deliverables or resource use in the project; the users exhibited low adherence towards the optimized software, as well as there was limited time and training allocated for them to test it. Lessons learned suggest clarifying stakeholder roles and contributions, and engaging the users earlier and beyond testing the software for malfunctions to enhance knowledge mobilization, involve them in the change and increase acceptance.


Software development User participation Sociotechnical systems Organizational change Knowledge transfer 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden

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