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Abstract

Traditional requirement engineering approaches pay little attention to how the requirements are interpreted and shared by different parties in an organization. Our study extends the previous research of social and organizational requirement elicitation by suggesting that requirement shaping during a project can be described as a process where attitudes and expectations are filtered, shifted and negotiated repeatedly. We studied a large e-commerce platform development project by applying grounded theory and observed that preconceptions, attitudes and expectations about systems development among project participants filtered the understanding of software requirements, negotiating between project participants resolved the issues caused by filtering and shifts in these attitudes and expectations facilitated changes in the understanding of requirements. In spite of this observed filtering, shifting, and negotiation, the developed system exceeded the customer’s needs and expectations even though it was delivered late. We approached the subject with technology frames as an a priori construct and were able to provide a new interpretation of how technology is collectively interpreted in organizations.

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