• Lily Thi Kimie Huynh
  • Amal Lahdjel
  • Hanan Mohamoud Ahmed
  • Louis Nikolaj Rasmussen
Context. As software developers were forced to work from home due to COVID-19 pandemic, managers had to
rethink how to control and motivate software developers. Objective. This study investigates how managers can
motivate and control software developers who are working from home during the pandemic. Method. We used
a case study approach to investigate a Scrum team from a Danish software organization that used Scaled Agile
Framework (SAFe). In order to get an in-depth understanding of the participants involved, semi-structured
interviews were conducted remotely and subsequently transcribed. In addition, qualitative content analysis was
used to analyze the data, where Kirsch’s control modes were applied to determine what kind of controls the
organization enacted and Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory to find out if the software developers were
dissatisfied or satisfied with the controls. However, as we argue that the relationship between control and
motivation is transactional, we also investigate how the software developers’ motivation influences the control.
Results. We found that the identified control enactments at the organization had an effect on the software
developers’ motivation, however, it was also evident that their motivation had an effect on the controls.
Conclusion. The majority of these controls had a positive impact, which suggests that the SAFe worked well in
the context of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it is important for managers to
be aware of the transactional relationship when controlling and motivating software developers who are working
from home
Publication date10 Jun 2021
Number of pages53
ID: 414412526