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Groupthink Decision Making Deficiency in the Requirements Engineering Process: Towards a Crowdsourcing Model

21 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2012  

Nixon Muganda Ochara

Namibia University of Science & Technology

Dawit Asmelash

University of Pretoria

Samali Mlay

Makerere University - Makerere University Business School

Date Written: August 19, 2012

Abstract

We make an argument that requirements engineering, as a primer to information technology deployment in organizations, is largely failing because decision making in the requirements engineering (RE) process empathizes with the ethos of 'group think' which 'fuels' inefficient 'control indeterminacy.' We make this argument from the premise that technological artifacts that get inscribed within organizational culture and design do so through an initial process that involves prioritization, which in itself is theorized as an outcome of organizational discourse. We draw on critical realism's retroductive approach and the practice of 'group think' for grounding crowdsourcing in IT project prioritization. Our choice of crowdsourcing as a remedy for inefficiencies in IT Project prioritization is deliberate: it elevates the notion of group think as a theoretical lens; and is in line with the positioning of organizational decision making as deliberately constitutive and representative of stakeholder interests. However, we remain attentive guard against utopianism, but still make the claim that crowdsourcing provides us with some traction for seeking alternatives that can lead to a re-invigoration in RE research for effective practices in IT projects. The analyses links RE decision making deficiency to the prevalence of Organizational Resistance, Technical Incompetence, Lack of a Moral and Ethical Code and Inappropriate Leadership for Creativity.

Keywords: Crowd Sourcing, Requirements Engineering, Decision Making, Group Think, IT Project Management

Suggested Citation

Ochara, Nixon Muganda and Asmelash, Dawit and Mlay, Samali, Groupthink Decision Making Deficiency in the Requirements Engineering Process: Towards a Crowdsourcing Model (August 19, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2132040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2132040

Nixon Muganda Ochara (Contact Author)

Namibia University of Science & Technology ( email )

Faculty of Computing & Informatics
Department of Informatics
Windhoek, Windhoek 0002
Namibia

Dawit Asmelash

University of Pretoria ( email )

Informatics Department
EBIT
Pretoria, Gauteng
South Africa
00270761669436 (Phone)

Samali Mlay

Makerere University - Makerere University Business School ( email )

P. Box 1337
Kampala
Uganda

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