Collective Agility, Paradox and Organizational Improvisation: The Development of a Particle Physics Grid

Information Systems Journal, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 303-333, July 2011

Posted: 21 Jul 2011

See all articles by Yingqin Zheng

Yingqin Zheng

De Montfort University

Will Venters

London School of Economics and Political Sciences

Tony Cornford

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: July 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper examines systems development in a global collaborative community of high energy physics and offers insights and implications for agile systems development in other large scale and distributed settings. The paper studies the ongoing construction of the UK’s computing grid for particle physics (GridPP), a grid that is itself part of the world’s largest grid, the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LHC). We observe in this project a collective, agile and distributed performance through which the Grid is constructed. We express this through the concept of “collective agility” which captures a large distributed performance rather than the more conventional sense of agility as small-group and deliberate systems development practices. The collective agility of GridPP is analysed as a process of “enacted emergence” expressed through the dynamics of six improvisation-paradoxes.

Keywords: collective agility, improvisation, paradox, grid computing, particle physics

Suggested Citation

Zheng, Yingqin and Venters, Will and Cornford, Tony, Collective Agility, Paradox and Organizational Improvisation: The Development of a Particle Physics Grid (July 1, 2011). Information Systems Journal, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 303-333, July 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1890675

Yingqin Zheng

De Montfort University ( email )

The Gateway
Leicester, LE1 9BH
United Kingdom

Will Venters (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Sciences ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 2078523619 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/venters

Tony Cornford

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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