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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

William M Fleischman

The purpose of this paper is to consider the question of equipping fully autonomous robotic weapons with the capacity to kill. Current ideas concerning the feasibility and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the question of equipping fully autonomous robotic weapons with the capacity to kill. Current ideas concerning the feasibility and advisability of developing and deploying such weapons, including the proposal that they be equipped with a so-called “ethical governor”, are reviewed and critiqued. The perspective adopted for this study includes software engineering practice as well as ethical and legal aspects of the use of lethal autonomous robotic weapons.

Design/methodology/approach

In the paper, the author survey and critique the applicable literature.

Findings

In the current paper, the author argue that fully autonomous robotic weapons with the capacity to kill should neither be developed nor deployed, that research directed toward equipping such weapons with a so-called “ethical governor” is immoral and serves as an “ethical smoke-screen” to legitimize research and development of these weapons and that, as an ethical duty, engineers and scientists should condemn and refuse to participate in their development.

Originality/value

This is a new approach to the argument for banning autonomous lethal robotic weapons based on classical work of Joseph Weizenbaum, Helen Nissenbaum and others.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Majed Alshammari and Andrew Simpson

Concerns over data-processing activities that may lead to privacy violations or harms have motivated the development of legal frameworks and standards. Further, software

Abstract

Purpose

Concerns over data-processing activities that may lead to privacy violations or harms have motivated the development of legal frameworks and standards. Further, software engineers are increasingly expected to develop and maintain privacy-aware systems that both comply with such frameworks and standards and meet reasonable expectations of privacy. This paper aims to facilitate reasoning about privacy compliance, from legal frameworks and standards, with a view to providing necessary technical assurances.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors show how the standard extension mechanisms of the UML meta-model might be used to specify and represent data-processing activities in a way that is amenable to privacy compliance checking and assurance.

Findings

The authors demonstrate the usefulness and applicability of the extension mechanisms in specifying key aspects of privacy principles as assumptions and requirements, as well as in providing criteria for the evaluation of these aspects to assess whether the model meets these requirements.

Originality/value

First, the authors show how key aspects of abstract privacy principles can be modelled using stereotypes and tagged values as privacy assumptions and requirements. Second, the authors show how compliance with these principles can be assured via constraints that establish rules for the evaluation of these requirements.

Details

Information & Computer Security, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4961

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Takahiro Fujimoto and Young Won Park

The purpose of this exploratory paper is to analyze how complexity of an artifact affects designing processes of its mechanical, electric, and software sub‐systems.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory paper is to analyze how complexity of an artifact affects designing processes of its mechanical, electric, and software sub‐systems.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on existing empirical research and frameworks of axiomatic design, product architecture, and product development process, the paper proposes a simple model of functional and structural design to examine how engineers' ways of thinking differ among mechanical, electric and software engineers.

Findings

This paper argues that products and artifacts tend to become complex (often with integral architecture) when customers' functional requirements become more demanding and societal/technological constraints become stricter, and that complex mechanical products are often accompanied by electronic control units with complex functions. This implies that designing complex mechanical products often requires intensive coordination among mechanical, electric and software engineers. This, however, is not easy, as engineers' way of thinking is often different among the three areas: mechanical engineers want to complete structural design information first to build prototypes; electrical and software engineers (the latter in particular) request complete functional information first.

Research limitations/implications

In order to solve the above‐mentioned mechanical‐electrical‐software coordination problem, engineers need to share basic design concept of the product in question. Heavy‐weight product managers who infuse the product concept to the project members might be the key to this coordination. Companies may need to make sure that their product development processes are friendly to all of the three groups of engineers.

Originality/value

Although designing complex artifacts has been a popular research theme since H. Simon's seminal work, issues of organizational coordination for developing complex products, with increasing managerial importance, need further research. With an empirical case of the automobile and electronic products, the present paper is unique in that it combines frameworks of product development processes, product architectures, and organizational capabilities.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Joanna F. DeFranco and Phillip Laplante

The purpose of this mapping study has been performed to identify, critically analyze and synthesize research performed in the area of software engineering teams. Teams, in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this mapping study has been performed to identify, critically analyze and synthesize research performed in the area of software engineering teams. Teams, in a general sense, have been studied extensively. But the distinctive processes that need to be executed effectively and efficiently in software engineering require a better understanding of current software engineering team research.

Design/methodology/approach

In this work, software engineering team publications were analyzed and the key findings of each paper that met our search inclusion criteria were synthesized. In addition, a keyword content analysis was performed to create a taxonomy to categorize each paper and evaluate the state of software engineering team research.

Findings

In software engineering team research, the resulting areas that are the most active are teamwork/collaboration, process/design and coordination. Clear themes of analysis have been determined to help understand how team members collaborate, factors affecting their success and interactions among all project stakeholders. In addition, themes related to tools to support team collaboration, improve the effectiveness of software engineering processes and support team coordination have been found. However, the research gaps determined from the content analysis point toward a need for more research in the area of communication and tools.

Originality/value

The goal of this work is to define the span of previous research in this area, create a taxonomy to categorize such research and identify open research areas to provide a clear road map for future research in the area of software engineering teams. These results, along with the key finding themes presented, will help guide future research in an area that touches all parts of the software engineering and development processes.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Maruscia Baklizky, Marcelo Fantinato, Lucineia Heloisa Thom, Violeta Sun and Patrick C.K. Hung

The purpose of this paper is to present business process point analysis (BPPA), a technique to measure business functional process size, based on function point analysis…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present business process point analysis (BPPA), a technique to measure business functional process size, based on function point analysis (FPA), and using business process model and notation (BPMN). This paper also discusses the assessment results of BPPA compared with FPA.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experimental studies with participants from academia and industry were conducted. The following aspects in the experimental studies were focused: similarity, application easiness, feasibility, and application benefits. The purpose of the experiment was to assess BPPA comparing with FPA as the BPPA design followed the FPA pattern.

Findings

Experimental results showed that both academia and industry groups highly rated similarity and application benefits for BPPA compared with FPA. However, only participants from industry highly rated BPPA for application easiness and feasibility. The results also showed that participants’ previous experiences did not influence their ratings on BPPA.

Originality/value

BPPA helps project managers to measure functional process size of business process management projects. As BPPA is derived from FPA, its mechanism is easily recognizable by project managers who are used to FPA. These results also show that both techniques are in most cases considered rather similar.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Martin Böttcher and Stephan Klingner

The purpose of this paper is to provide a method that allows the decollating of formerly monolithic services into separate modules. To provide a semantically equivalent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a method that allows the decollating of formerly monolithic services into separate modules. To provide a semantically equivalent decomposed model, structure and dependencies need to be defined. This fine‐grained image of the service allows an easier configuration and optimisation of single service modules and the service portfolio as a whole.

Design/methodology/approach

As an initial point of the work the authors conducted an extensive literature review, transferring insights from other domains that already make use of modularisation, such as industrial engineering and software engineering. The method developed on that basis was evaluated consecutively in use cases conducted with three companies.

Findings

As research in the fields of industrial and software engineering has shown, modularisation is a suitable approach for handling complexity. In this paper approaches and concepts of modularisation in industrial and software engineering were identified, adapted, and transferred into the field of service engineering, resulting in a method to modularise services. Additionally, potential positive effects of modularisation were compiled.

Research limitations/implications

The process of modularising in general requires three aspects: an architecture to describe the system's structure; interfaces to describe the interaction of modules; and standards for testing a module's conformity to the design rules. The method presented contributes primarily to the architecture. Further research efforts need to be conducted regarding aspects of interfaces and standards.

Practical implications

Nowadays, service providers are facing growing competition, which requires greater economical efficiency. Furthermore, customers increasingly demand individualised services, which can only be offered by applying the concepts of mass customisation. Both challenges can be met with the application of the concept of modularisation.

Originality/value

While service modularisation is increasingly discussed for the service domain, only little work has been done on presenting a method for a structured description. The provision of a method for describing the architecture of services and service portfolios can be used as the basis for further research regarding optimisation and configuration of service offers.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Yan Yang

This paper aims to discuss the challenge for the classical idea of professionalism in understanding the Chinese software engineering industry after giving a close insight…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the challenge for the classical idea of professionalism in understanding the Chinese software engineering industry after giving a close insight into the development of this industry as well as individual engineers with a psycho‐societal perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The study starts with the general review of the sociological concept of profession, professional and specialization of knowledge. Together with revealing the critical challenge from the empirical field of software engineering industry regarding its professionalization, a critique of the neglect of subjective agency in classical conception of professionalism in sociology theory and methodology is set out.

Findings

A case study with interpretation of the subject's continuously developing identification with their specialization in knowledge and occupation from their narration of career experience reveals the dynamics in this development process relating to individual, social practice and societal factors.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to empirical research of analyzing the professionalization process of software engineering and software engineers in relation to the concept of professionalism, and it contributes theoretically by discussing the challenge of this process to the development of professionalism within this highly knowledge‐based industry in a Chinese societal context.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 24 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part
Publication date: 1 November 2007

Irina Farquhar and Alan Sorkin

This study proposes targeted modernization of the Department of Defense (DoD's) Joint Forces Ammunition Logistics information system by implementing the optimized…

Abstract

This study proposes targeted modernization of the Department of Defense (DoD's) Joint Forces Ammunition Logistics information system by implementing the optimized innovative information technology open architecture design and integrating Radio Frequency Identification Device data technologies and real-time optimization and control mechanisms as the critical technology components of the solution. The innovative information technology, which pursues the focused logistics, will be deployed in 36 months at the estimated cost of $568 million in constant dollars. We estimate that the Systems, Applications, Products (SAP)-based enterprise integration solution that the Army currently pursues will cost another $1.5 billion through the year 2014; however, it is unlikely to deliver the intended technical capabilities.

Details

The Value of Innovation: Impact on Health, Life Quality, Safety, and Regulatory Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-551-2

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Case study
Publication date: 23 May 2019

Manisha Saxena and Subrata Kumar Nandi

The learning outcomes of this study include: recognizing the strategic inflexion points and related business and strategic perspectives in the life of an organization;…

Abstract

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this study include: recognizing the strategic inflexion points and related business and strategic perspectives in the life of an organization; understanding sources of sustained competitive advantage and connect it with resource-based view for internal analysis; applying dynamic capability theory to identify capabilities that help an IT company stay relevant in an IT sector characterized by VUCA (an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) environment; analyzing the multi-dimensional and multi-contextual challenge an organization faces, or is likely to face, in the foreseeable future and the possible ways it addresses or should address them; evaluating strategies adopted at various points of an organization’s journey for their effectiveness; and helping a company co-create value for its customers.

Case overview/synopsis

This case of Nitor Infotech Private Limited (Nitor), a mid-sized software product outsourcing company, outlines its decade-long journey, highlighting its achievements. While the company has consistently grown by leveraging its expertise in software product engineering and its domain knowledge in the healthcare segment, it entered into a stage of its life cycle where it had to develop a long-term strategy to effectively compete in the product engineering market. Nitor’s strategy was built around product engineering and outsourced product development. The two major choices for a software company were either to develop its own product and thereby own the intellectual property (IP) or to develop modules which would be part of a product that would be owned by a client. In the latter case, the IP would be held by the client. So far Nitor chose to follow the second option by developing components for its client’s products. Although this strategy allowed it to develop expertise in a particular domain, and serve different customers in a particular market, the chances of a competitor attacking its position was high. On the other hand, if it developed its own product, it can create its own brand name and can sell packaged software to several different customers. However, the challenge with the latter is that the cost of marketing could be very high. The choice for the company in the future is to decide on selecting a specific strategy to expand its international business.

Complexity academic level

This case is appropriate for an undergraduate and postgraduate management course in the area of strategic management. The level of difficulty can be from medium to high depending on the learning level. Knowledge of management fundamentals is not a prerequisite but is desirable for case analysis.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email support@emeraldinsight.com to request teaching notes.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1992

Lars Mathiassen and Jan Stage

Compares experimental (eg. prototyping) and analytical (eg.specifying) approaches in systems design. Derives ′The Principle ofLimited Reduction′. Defines this as: “Relying…

Abstract

Compares experimental (eg. prototyping) and analytical (eg. specifying) approaches in systems design. Derives ′The Principle of Limited Reduction′. Defines this as: “Relying on an analytical mode of operation to reduce complexity introduces new sources of uncertainty requiring experimental countermeasures; relying on an experimental mode of operation to reduce complexity introduces new sources of uncertainty requiring analytical countermeasures”. Concludes that a mixed approach is best, but warns that this is as yet (1992) hypothetical.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 6 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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