Current Research Projects

ConflictIT: Technologies in Conflicted cities

We just received fundings for establishing a new research area: ConflictIT: Technologies in Conflicted cities, which is dedicated to investigate the complexities related to software development practices in tech start-up companies located within the political conflict of Israel/Palestine. The project participants includes Pernille Bjørn (PI, ITU), Nina Boulus-Rødje (KU) and Ahmad Ghazawneh (ITU).

Next Generation Tools and Processes for Global Software Development (

My current research project is Next Generation Tool and Processes for Global Software Development " - where my main role is organising and conducting ethnographic field studies within companies engaged with global software development.

Former engagements includes...

Global Interaction Research Initiative GIRI

All my current main activities are within the GIRI initiative - in particular I am involved in two projects: Global Engineering and Global Software Development. The Global Software Development project just receive a large funding from the Danish Strategic Research Counsel.

Global Engineering

Motivation: In the Global Engineering research project we investigate how Danish and Indian engineers collaborate when engaged in the engineering of factories. When engineering and constructing factories it typically takes about two years and the collaborative effort of 300 engineers from the contract is signed until the factory is erected at the location. In this process there are a large number of shared activities, which are highly interdependent and coupled by nature. These activities need to be coordinated, and in this project we focus in particular on how the collaborative coordination activities between the engineers are handled. In this work, we focus in particular on how the engineers apply a War Room concept into the global collaborative planning activities handling the coordination. War Room as part of coordination effort have been found to support collaboration previously, however nobody have yet investigated how the War Room concept can be used in a none-collocated setting – and we know less about how we can design collaborative technologies for this type of setting.

Research objective and goals: In the Global Engineering project we investigate how collaborative planning activities take place in a global context developing theoretical concept useful for explaining and describing such practices with the aim of designing collaborative technologies supporting such practices. The objectives and goals of the project are 1) a conceptual framework of the how the War Room concept is applied in the global Engineering context focusing on the collaborative planning practices and 2) design concepts for collaborative technologies which can support cross cultural collaboration between the engineers.

Research activities: Our main approach is ethnographic studies of the work practices of the engineers combined with design workshops and prototype development, which we bring back to the empirical partner.

Relation to Global Interaction: The Global Engineering project is global in both objective of study as well as in research project structure. The object of study global engineering is fundamentally a particular type of global interaction. While we have been involved in the ethnographic studies since January 2010, we are currently in the process of involving additional researchers in the project – hopefully expanding the project to have a number of global dispersed researchers.

Project period: September 2009- ongoing

Funding: GIRI and Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation – Bilaterial network activities 246.139 DKR

Principal investigator: Associate Professor Pernille Bjørn

Researchers: Post doctoral fellow Lars Rune Christensen; Research Assistant Carina Rothbach

Industrial partner: FLSmidth engineering

Global Software Development

This project is now part of the larger research project Next generation Technology for Global Software Development, which is a collaboration between the ITU, CBS and IIM-Bangalore as the academic institutions and NNIT, Teo, TCS as the Industrial partners and we are currently looking for a PhD students for both ethnographic work and technology design.

Motivation: When software companies spread their activities across countries it is essential that the different actors (software developers) have common ground for their collaborative activities. It takes time to develop such common ground, and we know little as to how this process is viewed from the point of view of the developers and not just from management. In this project we investigate how Danish and Philippine software developers collaborate across culture, time, and geography focusing on their values, perspectives, and motivations for collaborating.

Research objective and goals: The objective and goal of the study is to create in-depth descriptions of how the software developers collaborate across distance, focusing on their shared activities, use of artefacts, and collective processes.

Research activities: The main approach in the project is ethnographic work place studies of three software development projects with Philippine and Danish participants. Relation to global interaction: The object of study Global software development is fundamentally a global interaction activity.

Project period: October 2010 - ongoing

Funding: GIRI.

Principal investigator: Associate Professor Pernille Bjørn

Researchers and PhD students: Post Doctoral fellow Lars Rune Christensen, Research assistants Helle Storm and Rasmus Eskild Jensen.

Industrial partners: NNIT

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