INFLUENCE OF TEAM INJUNCTIVE NORMS

Other relevant aspects for predicting individual intentions are the individual’s perceived degree of control over performed behavior (perceived behavioral control, e.g., “Engaging in a binge drinking session is entirely under/ outside my control” (Rivis and Sheeran, 2003, p. 218), and people’s evaluations of the consequences of this behavior or their attitudes (e.g., “For me, engaging in a binge drinking session would be wise/foolish,” Rivis and Sheeran, 2003, p. 219). The perceived behavioral control refers to the perceived ease or difficulty of performing the behavior and is assumed to reflect both past experience and anticipated impediments and obstacles.

This view of perceived behavioral control is aligned mostly with Bandura’s (1977, 1982) concept of perceived self-efficacy which “is concerned with judgments of how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations” (Bandura, 1982, p. 122). Much ofthe current knowledge about the impact of perceived behavioral control derives from the systematic research program of Bandura and his associates (e.g., Bandura et al., 1977; Bandura et al., 1980). Their research reveals that people’s behavior is strongly affected by their confidence in their ability to perform it (i.e., by perceived behavioral control). In this context, the theory of planned behavior indicates three conceptually independent antecedents to individual intention. The first is attitude toward the behavior which as already mentioned, is related to the extent to which the individual has a favorable or unfavorable evaluation of the behavior in question. The second predictor is the subjective norm which is the perceived social pressure to enact or not to enact the behavior. The third determinant is the degree of perceived behavioral control. According to the theory of planned behavior, the more positive people’s attitudes and subjective norms, and the greater their perceived behavioral control regarding a behavior, the more likely they will intend to perform that behavior. Similarly, the stronger people’s intentions, the more likely they will perform the behavior.

The following quotes were extracted from the interviews to give evidence of this.

People Beliefs About Innovation

Learning is not as important as developing and delivering features so we don’t spend time on learning. [Team member]

Group Subjective Norms

We are usually under a lot of stress to handle tasks. Thus, we have never had time to develop our competence as individuals. [Team member]

Perceived Behavioral Control

Earlier we worked in a certain area, but now our features strike on every subsystem, and we don’t have enough knowledge about it so it’s difficult. [Team member]

Thus, in line with the literature, team members’ beliefs about the relevance of the innovative behavior and their individual self-efficacy are positively related to team injunctive group norms and we stipulate the following:

Research Proposition 7: Perceived behavioral control towards an innovative activity mediates the relationship between the attitude to the innovative activity and the injunctive norms to perform (or not) that innovative activity and the individual intention to embrace it.

Pressure to “get the job done” is common within Agile teams. It is related to the subjective social norm and affects the individual’s potential to gain approval or suffer sanction from significant others such as the Agile team’s relevant stakeholders as product owner and line manager, for engaging in a behavior. Below are reported relevant quotations from team members.

Some people are proactive about attending learning days and courses, others are less so but when there is on, and we feel that we are getting delayed attendance at learning days is reduced. We need to plan properly time for learning. [Product Owner]

They struggled with that all the time because they’re focused on delivering features all the time but they also see they need to help each other, the testers need to help with design as well and vice-versa but it’s a challenge for them. I do have to keep reminding them during the sprint planning. They tend as default to getfinished the feature. [High level manager]

As reported in Annosi, Magnusson, Martini and Appio (2015), perceived time pressure is influenced by: (i) team’s attitude to revealing the importance of project tasks to team members; (ii) the characteristics of specific Agile routines imposing constraints and rules on people’s actions as in the implementation of boundary control systems (Simons, 1991, 1994); (iii) concertive control from peers enacting pressure to get the job done; and 4) implementation of diagnostic controls (Simons 1991, 1994) in the form of goals and feedback loops.

Some extracts related to these constructs are reported in the following subsections.

 
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