Changing systems development job: A job characteristics approach

Diane Lending, Norman L. Chervany

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In 1980, systems developers wanted and had a job that was challenging, motivating and satisfying. In the intervening years, the job has changed substantially. New methods including prototyping, Joint Applications Development, Rapid Applications Development, and Object-Oriented methodologies are widely available. New tools such as CASE tools and diagraming tools support the developer's job. With these changes, is the systems developers' job still a challenging one? Do the developers still have a high need for that challenge? Do the subtasks done and the methodologies used affect perceptions about the outcomes of the job? 233 systems developers in seven organizations were surveyed to answer these questions. These questions were studied using a job characteristics approach. The study found that the job is still a challenging and satisfying job. Systems developers are highly motivated. Their perceptions of the job vary according to the exact task performed. Those who do more testing are less motivated. Those who do more systems analysis are more satisfied with their growth potential; those who do more maintenance are less satisfied with growth potential. The methodology used also influences perceptions of the job. Object oriented approaches and prototyping increase satisfaction with growth potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 ACM SIGCPR Conference - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Apr 3 1997Apr 5 1997


OtherProceedings of the 1997 ACM SIGCPR Conference
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA


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