Inter-team coordination in large-scale agile development: A test of organizational discontinuity theory

Kevin Crowston, Katherine Chudoba, Mary Beth Watson-Manheim, Pouya Rahmati

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


We draw on Organizational Discontinuity Theory (ODT) to identify factors that increase communication and coordination problems between teams working on large software development projects. ODT posits that faced with a disruption in the expected flow of communication, called a discontinuity, individuals must make sense of the disruption to address the problem. They may be motivated to pay more attention to the situation and consider alternative actions to deal with the discontinuity, leading to the emergence of continuities, which are new behaviors, group practices and expectations. Continuities reduce or eliminate the attention and effort required to understand and manage the situation associated with problematic discontinuities. We propose a mixed-method study based on this model to examine the effects of discontinuities and the development of continuities on interteam coordination in large-scale agile software development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XP 2016 Scientific Workshops
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450341349
StatePublished - May 24 2016
EventXP 2016 Scientific Workshops - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: May 24 2016 → …

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


OtherXP 2016 Scientific Workshops
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period5/24/16 → …


  • Inter-team coordination
  • Organizational discontinuity theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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