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Abstract

Information system software development projects suffer from a high failure rate. One of many obstacles faced by project managers is non-supportive users, those not actively sharing in development responsibilities. The coordination activity of early partnering has been proposed in the literature to promote collaboration and enhance user support. The extent of partnering is considered in a model that relates partnering to the risks of user non-support and eventual project success. The model is developed from contingency theory, with residual performance risk as an intermediary variable. A survey of IS project membership provides the data, which indicates that partnering significantly relates to higher user support, less residual risk, and better project performance. Researchers may use variations on the model to examine other barriers to success and the techniques applied to lower the barriers. Practitioners should consider applying partnering techniques to improve software development project performance.

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