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The link between transformational and servant leadership in DevOps-oriented organizations

Maroukian, K. and Gulliver, S. ORCID: (2020) The link between transformational and servant leadership in DevOps-oriented organizations. In: ESSE2020 - European Symposium on Software Engineering, 6-8 Nov 2020, Rome, Italy,

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1145/3393822.3432340


DevOps is a set of agile and lean practices and principles in the context of software product development aiming to decrease mean time-to-market and mean time-to-recover-from-failure through a shift in organizational mindset-skillset-toolset. There is literature to suggest that adopting DevOps has been challenging in practice and that a particular leadership style is necessary to lead DevOps adoption. There are studies to suggest that DevOps leadership is mainly related to transformational leadership characteristics. In this research, a mixed methods approach is used. Initially, semi-structured interviews are conducted with 30 EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa) agile and lean practitioners holding more than 10 years of practitioner experience (81%) from the private and public sectors. The contribution also includes an analysis and evaluation of a survey completed by 250 participants of which 93% works in Europe and Middle East and 76% has held previous leadership positions. By looking to recent literature we identified agile, lean and DevOps practices and principles. In addition, we identify benefits and inhibitors to DevOps adoption and its leadership. Our results suggest that deep rooted organizational culture and lack of DevOps definition clarity are usually considered impediments to DevOps adoption followed by poor communication and collaboration. Our results also show that certain DevOps adoption leadership characteristics are relevant to transformational leadership and servant leadership. The research results also indicate that the DevOps adoption leadership role is linked to certain metrics.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:93575
Uncontrolled Keywords:DevOps adoption; practices; principles; leadership; metrics


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