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Article

Uta Schloegel, Sebastian Stegmann, Alexander Maedche and Rolf van Dick

Research on agile software development (ASD) has so far primarily focused on processes and tools. Recently, researchers have started to investigate the social dimensions…

Abstract

Purpose

Research on agile software development (ASD) has so far primarily focused on processes and tools. Recently, researchers have started to investigate the social dimensions of ASD. The authors contribute to this and examine the largely invisible psychological factor of age stereotypes as one important social dimension of ASD. Driven by demographic change, employees of different age groups will need to work closely together in ASD in the future. However, age stereotypes can hinder many aspects of communication, cooperation and coordination in these self-managed teams. The purpose of this paper is to identify and differentiate age stereotypes in ASD.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative survey at the individual level was conducted with 464 employees in two software development companies. The authors developed an age stereotype model for ASD and developed two scales to measure performance expectations (PEs) in ASD.

Findings

Employees in ASD show a bias in general PEs, favoring middle-aged employees over both younger and older employees. The perceived PE of a developer decreases over working life. Furthermore, the data show a complex interplay of age and job role in both the research participants and the group evaluated. Younger developers hold the strongest negative age stereotypes and older developers suffer most from stereotypes.

Practical implications

Management should enact formal or informal measures against stereotypes when an older or younger employee joins a team of members of other age groups, or when a new team is formed. In addition, the authors propose human resources to create permeable career paths.

Originality/value

The study extends the stereotype content model by adding additional age groups and including job role as a moderating variable. It identifies obstacles in daily employee interactions in agile development, and proposes ways of incorporating invisible psychological aspects in ASD-specific theories.

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Article

Nina M. Junker, Sebastian Stegmann, Stephan Braun and Rolf Van Dick

Research on implicit followership theories – that is, individually held assumptions about how followers are and how they should be – is still in its infancy. The few…

Abstract

Purpose

Research on implicit followership theories – that is, individually held assumptions about how followers are and how they should be – is still in its infancy. The few existing approaches differ in what they define as the object of these theories. The authors consider the lack of two aspects in the existing literature: first, the authors consider it important to not only focus on effective but also on ideal followers – which allows investigating follower characteristics that go beyond just performance; and second, the authors demonstrate the importance of the study of characteristics which leaders explicitly see as undesirable for followers (i.e. counter-ideal follower prototypes). The purpose of this paper is to fill these gaps and to extend the literature by introducing the concept of implicit followership theories as assumptions of ideal followers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first present three studies conducted to develop a scale to measure ideal and counter-ideal follower prototypes, respectively. In a fourth study, the authors apply this scale and compare it to existing measures of implicit followership theories regarding their value for predicting leaders’ follower ratings.

Findings

Results show that the newly developed measure is reliable and valid, and comprises a useful tool for future research.

Practical implications

The scale can be used for leadership development programs.

Originality/value

The study is among the few that provide theory and evidence for the relevance of implicit followership theories and is the first to consider the ideal follower in this regard.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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Article

Karl‐Heinz Schmidt

The purpose of this paper is to focus on links between former “Heilbronn Symposia” on social, economic and political changes, and evolutionary concepts of the nineteenth…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on links between former “Heilbronn Symposia” on social, economic and political changes, and evolutionary concepts of the nineteenth and early twentieth century to solve the “Social Question” (“S. Qu.”) in Germany.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is based on references to authors of German historical schools, social policy, labor economics and liberal economic policy. The paper supplies a literature review in the area of social policy. It starts from different earlier definitions of the S. Qu. An overview is provided of selected studies of formerly leading German authors, who basically investigated economic and social policies conditioned by the existing economic system. The contents demonstrate different perspectives of the considered authors: Wilhelm Roscher's long‐term, even “modern” view of the development of property and wealth; Gustav Schmoller's broad view of economic and social development, demanding a strong state, efficient organizations of entrepreneurs and trade unions; Lujo Brentano's demand of basic institutional changes concerning labor markets and social security by trade unions; authors of different social‐economic studies written at the twentieth century, like Leopold von Wiese, Walter Eucken, Gerhard Weisser and Hans Peter Widmaier.

Findings

The findings point out: not all of the considered authors applied the same long‐term view; all of the authors demonstrated negative social effects of industrialization; authors of the twentieth century pointed out a broader concern of S. Qu. and social policy than former authors.

Research limitations/implications

Areas of future research include: a broadening perspective of long‐term studies, and an increasing demand for analyses of social disturbances and of effects of social policy on the distribution of life conditions.

Originality/value

The comparison of selected authors focusing on their views of the S. Qu. in Germany during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries allows for special conclusions related to the causes, performance and measures to solve or at least reduce the burden of the S. Qu. in the considered economy.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

Content available
Article

Sebastian Strauß and Nikol Rummel

Against the background of empirical research on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), the purpose of this paper is to advocate implementing collaborative…

Abstract

Purpose

Against the background of empirical research on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), the purpose of this paper is to advocate implementing collaborative learning activities into online distance education courses to engage learners in interactive knowledge construction. This study uses empirical evidence to illustrate how educators can integrate collaborative learning and designated collaboration support into their instructional design.

Design/methodology/approach

This study presents a general review of research literature from the field of CSCL to highlight productive interaction between learners as key learning mechanisms, summarize core features of collaborative tasks, which promote interaction between learners and present group awareness tools and collaboration scripts as two complementary approaches to support groups during collaborative learning.

Findings

Empirical research suggests that collaborative learning is an effective learning activity and that incorporating collaborative learning into online courses benefits learners in terms of learning and social aspects such as social presence. However, to leverage the potential of collaborative learning, careful instructional design that promotes productive interaction between students is necessary.

Originality/value

This paper provides an overview on the topic of collaborative learning and how meaningful interaction between learners can be fostered. Specifically, this study details how collaborative tasks can be designed and how collaboration support can be used to provide students with opportunities for interaction that fosters acquiring new domain-specific knowledge as well as collaboration skills. To allow educators to design and incorporate collaborative learning activities into their own online teaching, the authors provide a theoretical basis for understanding the mechanisms behind effective collaborative learning as well as examples and practical considerations.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 121 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

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