Coping with Late Stage Software Integration: A Grounded Theory Study to Understand How Knowledge Processes Contribute to Shared Situational Awareness Open Access
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Previous research on knowledge management have predominantly focused on either the development of knowledge management tools such as a knowledge repository or abstract theoretical understanding of knowledge management. These studies have not specifically addressed how to apply knowledge management theories to late stage software systems integration. The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of how knowledge processes contribute to shared situational awareness in order to support late stage software integration. Grounded Theory research methodology is used to qualitatively explore knowledge generation, knowledge transfer, and knowledge codification as components of knowledge processes between software engineers, systems engineers, and end users in order to understand how knowledge processes assists the software integration team in coping with late stage software integration. Research data are collected through a series of interviews of samples selected from the DoD domain. These data are systematically analyzed using established Grounded Theory analytical concepts to form theoretical models from qualitative analysis. An understanding of how knowledge processes contributes to the development of shared awareness for a software integration team during late stage software integration is developed from the analysis by the development of two theoretical models. In this study, knowledge processes are explored in the context of its contribution to the software integration team decision making processes within the DoD domain. A knowledge process interaction model is developed from the findings in the analysis to frame a theoretical understanding of how team awareness is developed from individual and organizational mental model of late stage software system integration requirements. Additionally, the knowledge process workflow model is developed as a framework for developing an understanding of support requirements for the software integration team by examining its knowledge processing activities during late stage integration. This model bridges differences in perspectives for software integration requirements by illustrating how knowledge generation, codification, and transfer are used to develop the team's shared awareness of software integration requirements. Combined, these two models develop the initial framework to assist knowledge managers in systematically analyzing late stage software integration process for knowledge processing inefficiency. This information can then be used by knowledge managers to develop a knowledge management support strategy for the software integration team during late stage software integration.