Work Design and Job Rotation in Software Engineering: Results from an Industrial Study

06/12/2019 ∙ by Ronnie Santos, et al. ∙ 0

Job rotation is a managerial practice to be applied in the organizational environment to reduce job monotony, boredom, and exhaustion resulting from job simplification, specialization, and repetition. Previous studies have identified and discussed the use of project-to-project rotations in software practice, gathering empirical evidence from qualitative and field studies and pointing out set of work-related factors that can be positively or negatively affected by this practice. Goal: We aim to collect and discuss the use of job rotation in software organizations in order to identify the potential benefits and limitations of this practice supported by the statement of existing theories of work design. Method: Using a survey-based research design, we collected and analyzed quantitative data from software engineers about how software development work is designed and organized, as well as the potential effects of job rotations on this work design. We investigated 21 work design constructs, along with job burnout, role conflict, role ambiguity, and two constructs related to job rotation. Results: We identified one new benefit and six new limitations of job rotation, not observed in previous studies and added new discussions to the existing body of knowledge concerning the use of job rotation in software engineering practice. Conclusion: We believe that these results represent another important step towards the construction of a consistent and comprehensive body of evidence that can guide future research and also inform practice about the potential positive and negative effects of job rotation in software development companies.



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