Self-Organizing is not Self-Managing: A Case Study about Governance Challenges in an Agile IT Unit and its Scrum Projects

AbstractThis paper presents a case study on the internal governance of Scrum projects and their relationships with their organization’s governance within a rich research setting: an IT agile unit and its mature Scrum project teams. This study reveals ambiguities about the meaning of self-organizing versus self-managing, and the associated challenges for governance processes, especially those related to HR governance, which can lead to unresolved issues and conflicts. Interestingly, these ambiguities are also found in the current IS literature, which rarely differentiates self-organizing from self-managing in agile projects. Thus, this paper enhances our knowledge of governance processes and associated challenges, particularly for mature Scrum project teams, which are still little covered in the IS literature.

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