Managing radical software engineering: Leverage order and chaos

Kevin C. Desouza, Yukika Awazu, Jeffrey Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Innovations in software engineering organisations frequently emerge from risky behaviour. Most often, these risks are taken by only a small percentage of the software engineers practising radical engineering (REs). They go against the status quo, experiment with new methods or technologies, and have the burden of bringing the innovations into the mainstream of the organisation. Most organisations however, do a poor job of adequately and effectively managing radical engineers. In this paper, we analyse the relationship between innovation regimes and radical engineering practice. We find that REs can be practised at either end of the order-chaos continuum. Successful software organisations are those that are able to balance between the extremes and manage REs effectively, and also those that follow a series of innovation stages in sensible ways. In this paper, we discuss lessons learned in managing REs found in software organisations and propose organisational actions for effective innovation management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Technology, Policy and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Articulation
  • Frame of interpretation
  • Incentives
  • Innovation
  • Innovation regimes
  • Knowledge management
  • Knowledge workers
  • Software development
  • Software organisations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Managing radical software engineering: Leverage order and chaos'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this