Affiliated Organization

Proceedings of IFIP 8.2/Organizations and Society in Information Systems (OASIS)


Small companies dominate the landscape of systems and software development companies. With a few exceptions, very few studies have investigated the development and managerial processes and practices of these companies, their customer relationship, and their overall position and role in the software supplier and procurer relationships.A recent in-depth study reveals a number of challenges facing a small shop software development company -- e.g. owner and employees having insufficient formal training in software engineering and information systems development, lack of consistent and systematic practices, little time to reflect upon practices and learn new technologies and techniques, barriers for access to the (end)users, a need for short cycle development in order to mantain a steady income, and a sometimes fragile or problematic relationship with customers and clients who are often much bigger and stronger than the small development shop.Several of these problems have been shown to be persistent in Software Engineering and Information Systems Development across time as well as types of companies and settings. We do, however, believe that there is a need to investigate how these problems play out in the context of small shop development. The study will build on the action research of which focused on introducing a learning and reflection model into a small development shop. In the present study, we will analyze that case further.