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Abstract

This paper introduces an empirically grounded model for analyzing intended and unintended changes in the prevalence of information systems development practices. In the model, any development practice observable in a development organization can be analyzed according to two dimensions: the intended scope of defined practices versus the actual scope of enacted practices. Furthermore, the model identifies eight types of change paths in systems development practices based on the two dimensions: emergence, entropy, initiation, abandonment, formalization, informalization, implementation, and recalcitrance. The eight types of change paths provide an integrated theoretical model for understanding how systems development practices can change in organizations and projects and among individual developers in a given context. The paper concludes by discussing how the model complements and integrates concepts of the contemporary research on systems development practices and outlines its potential uses for future research.

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