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Abstract

Agile software-development advocates claim that an important value proposition of agile methods is that they make people more motivated and satisfied with their jobs. While several studies present anecdotal evidence that agile methods increase motivation and satisfaction, research has not theoretically explained or empirically examined how agile development practices relate to team members’ feelings about their work. Drawing on the management and software-development literature, we articulate a model of job design that connects agile development practices to perceptions of job characteristics and, thereby, improve agile team members’ job satisfaction. Using data collected from 252 software-development professionals, we tested the model and found a positive relationship between agile project-management and software-development practices and employees’ perceptions of job characteristics. Further, we found direct effects between agile development-practice use and job satisfaction. Finally, we found interaction effects between the use of agile project-management and software-development approaches and the perception of job autonomy. With this study, we contribute to the literature by theoretically explaining and directly evaluating agile development practices’ impact on individuals’ perceptions about their job characteristics and on their job satisfaction.

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