Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Charles B. Daniels

Committee Member

Holly Handley

Committee Member

Adrian Gheorghe

Committee Member

Lan Cao


Agile project management methods are gaining in popularity in the software industry as software development teams are being asked to be adaptive to market needs and resilient to change and uncertainty. With increasing market uncertainty, global competition, and time-to-market pressure, it is becoming a challenge to develop an innovative product and deliver it on-time without the opportunity that comes from team autonomy to experiment and learn from failures in a remote workplace. To resolve this challenge, it is critical to understand the myriad human psychological factors in play that influence Agile team autonomy in a remote work environment.

The role of human psychological factors on Agile project delivery success has been largely neglected or superficially covered in extant literature. The purpose of this research study was to study the influence of key human psychological factors on emergence of Agile team autonomy that leads to Agile project success in software organizations. The findings will help Information Systems researchers and practitioners in proactively identifying and addressing human psychology factors challenges to achieve successful delivery of innovative products using Agile Scrum methodology.

Using an online survey instrument, the study sampled 137 software professionals from US software companies with experience in the Agile Scrum role of Team Member. The quantitative data generated was analyzed using multiple linear regression. The relationship between the independent variables – the human psychology factors pertaining to Leadership Style, Organization Structure, HR Practices and Stakeholder Engagement and the dependent variable - Agile team autonomy is explained through multiple linear regression. As multiple items are linked to variables, the statistical analysis was performed using the median scores for each variable. One-way ANOVA and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were used to demonstrate the existence (or nonexistence) of relationships between variables. Finally, an empirical model relating the human psychology factor variables and the dependent variable of Agile team autonomy was constructed for the population.


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