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Abstract

Literature and practice has agreed that commitment plays an important role in software process improvement (SPI)[1] initiatives. However, the concept of commitment has not been seriously researched in the SPI community. This paper seeks to provide a synthesis of contemporary commitment literature – giving SPI research and practice a new perspective on the phenomenon. It is shown that current thinking relies on models of commitment that are flawed in both academic and practical sense. Namely, four misconceptions [2] are identified in current thinking: 1) the assumption of causality in the human cognitive processes, i.e., commitment in this case), 2) the controllability of this process, 3) the notion of a singular commitment construct, and 4) the idea that commitment is an all-positive phenomenon. Implications of these findings for SPI research and practice are discussed.

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