An empirical examination of interdisciplinary collaboration within the practice of localisation and development of international software

Ressin, Malte (2015) An empirical examination of interdisciplinary collaboration within the practice of localisation and development of international software. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Abstract

Acceptance on international markets is an important selling proposition for software products and a key to new markets. The adaptation of software products for specific markets is called software localisation. Practitioner reports and research suggests that activities of developers and translators do not mesh seamlessly, leading to problems such as disproportionate cost, lack of quality, and delayed product release. Yet, there is little research on localisation as a comprehensive activity and its human factors.
This thesis examines how software localisation is handled in practice, how the localisation process is integrated into development, and how software developers and localisers work individually and collaboratively on international software. The research aims to understand how localisation issues around the above-mentioned classifications of cost, quality and time issues are caused. Qualitative and quantitative data is gathered through semi-structured interviews and an online survey. The interviews focused on the individual experiences of localisation and development professionals in a range of relevant roles. The online survey measured cultural competence, attitude towards and self-efficacy in localisation, and properties of localisation projects. Interviews were conducted and analysed following Straussian Grounded Theory. The survey was statistically analysed to test a number of hypotheses regarding differences between localisers and developers, as well as relationships between project properties and software quality.
Results suggest gaps in knowledge, procedure and motivation between developers and translators, as well as a lack of cross-disciplinary knowledge and coordination. Further, a grounded theory of interdisciplinary collaboration in software localisation explains how collaboration strategies and conflicts reciprocally affect each other and are affected by external influences. A number of statistically significant differences between developers and localisers and the relevance of certain project properties to localisation were confirmed. The findings give new insights into interdisciplinary issues in the development of international software and suggest new ways to handle interdisciplinary collaboration in general.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Computing
Depositing User: Marzena Dybkowska
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2016 11:22
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2016 11:23
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2858

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