Behavioural effects in software development: An experimental investigation

Ofira Shmueli, Nava Pliskin, Lior Fink

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Over-Requirement, manifested when a product or a service is specified beyond the actual needs of the customer or the market, is considered as a major risk in software development projects. This research empirically investigates whether Over-Requirement is partially due to emotional involvement of developers with software features they develop. Due to behavioural effects termed Endowment effect, I-Designed-it-Myself effect and IKEA effect, such involvement has been demonstrated when people come to overvalue physical items that they possess, self-design, or self-create. We conducted an experiment to explore these three behavioural effects in the context of a software development project. The 86 participants were randomly assigned to eight different experiment groups, according to whether they were responsible for (or not), specified (or not) and/or constructed (or not) a nice-to-have Over-Required software feature. The study's preliminary findings show that following these manipulations participants over-valued features that they were assigned to be responsible for, to specify or to construct, confirming our proposition that behavioural effects impact software development processes and influence Over-Requirement. The study is of relevance to theory about behavioural effects in software development and to practice via insights to Over-Requirement risk.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationECIS 2014 Proceedings - 22nd European Conference on Information Systems
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
ISBN (Print)9780991556700
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event22nd European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2014 - Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 9 Jun 201411 Jun 2014

Publication series

NameECIS 2014 Proceedings - 22nd European Conference on Information Systems


Conference22nd European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2014
CityTel Aviv


  • Endowment effect
  • I-designed-it-myself effect
  • IKEA effect
  • Over-requirement
  • Software development

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems


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