How deadline orientation and architectural modularity influence software quality and job satisfaction

Thomas Kude, Jens Foerderer, Sunil Mithas, Armin Heinzl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The implementation of digital transformation programs requires careful allocation of software developers to a variety of digital products and services with different levels of modularity. This paper investigates how deadline orientation (an individual-level preference of developers for completing work close to deadlines) and architectural modularity (a characteristic of products) influence central outcomes in software development. We argue that architectural modularity positively interacts with deadline orientation to influence software quality and the job satisfaction of developers. Our empirical analyses, using rare and high-quality data from 131 software developers and 29 product owners working at a captive software development center in India of a leading global software firm, confirm our hypotheses. We contribute to the literature on software development by showing that the fit between the technological characteristics of the software product (i.e., architectural modularity) and people factors (i.e., the temporal work style preferences of developers) plays an important role in shaping both software quality and job satisfaction. Our study has wider implications for the literature on software development, temporal work styles, and architectural modularity. It is instructive for practitioners tasked with hiring or allocating software developers for software products with varying technological characteristics in their digital transformation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-964
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • agile
  • architectural modularity
  • deadline orientation
  • digital transformation
  • job satisfaction
  • pacing style
  • software development
  • software quality
  • temporal work style
  • waterfall


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