Why Closely Coupled Work Matters in Global Software Development

Rasmus Eskild Jensen

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We report on an ethnographic study of an offshore global software development project between Danish and Philippine developers in a Danish company called GlobalSoft. We investigate why the IT- developers chose to engage in more closely coupled work as the project progressed and argue that closely coupled work supported the collaboration in a very challenging project. Three key findings are presented: 1) Closely coupled work practices established connections across the collaboration ensuring knowledge exchange and improving coordination between project members, 2) Closely coupled work practices diminished the formation of sub-groups locally and established new faultlines across the geographical distance, and 3) Closely coupled work enabled the creation of connections across organizational hierarchies allowing information to travel seamlessly between layers in the organization and consequently the project members could better anticipate issues and act accordingly. The implications of these findings include a reconsideration of the significance of closely coupled work in distributed settings. Also our findings open up discussions of why closely coupled work matters in global software development.
Original languageDanish
Title of host publication Proceedings of the 18th ACM international conference on Supporting Group Work : GROUP '14
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date9 Nov 2014
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3043-5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2014
Event18th International Conference on Supporting Group Work - Florida, Sanibel, United States
Duration: 9 Nov 201412 Nov 2014
Conference number: 18


Conference18th International Conference on Supporting Group Work
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

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