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An Empirical Analysis of Productivity and Quality in Software Products


  • M. S. Krishnan

    (University of Michigan Business School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109)

  • C. H. Kriebel

    (Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

  • Sunder Kekre

    (Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

  • Tridas Mukhopadhyay

    (Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)


We examine the relationship between life-cycle productivity and conformance quality in software products. The effects of product size, personnel capability, software process, usage of tools, and higher front-end investments on productivity and conformance quality were analyzed to derive managerial implications based on primary data collected on commercial software projects from a leading vendor. Our key findings are as follows. First, our results provide evidence for significant increases in life-cycle productivity from improved conformance quality in software products shipped to the customers. Given that the expenditure on computer software has been growing over the last few decades, empirical evidence for cost savings through quality improvement is a significant contribution to the literature. Second, our study identifies several quality drivers in software products. Our findings indicate that higher personnel capability, deployment of resources in initial stages of product development (especially design) and improvements in software development process factors are associated with higher quality products.

Suggested Citation

  • M. S. Krishnan & C. H. Kriebel & Sunder Kekre & Tridas Mukhopadhyay, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis of Productivity and Quality in Software Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(6), pages 745-759, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:6:p:745-759

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    Cited by:

    1. Paulson Gjerde, Kathy A. & Slotnick, Susan A., 2004. "Quality and reputation: The effects of external and internal factors over time," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-20, May.
    2. Hoegl, Martin & Gibbert, Michael & Mazursky, David, 2008. "Financial constraints in innovation projects: When is less more?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1382-1391, September.
    3. Euy-Young Jung & Chulwoo Baek & Jeong-Dong Lee, 2012. "Product survival analysis for the App Store," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 929-941, December.
    4. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:56:y:2005:i:7:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2601877 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bagchi, Kallol & Kirs, Peeter & Udo, Godwin & Cerveny, Robert, 2015. "Characteristics and determinants of insourced and offshored projects: A comparative analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 108-121.
    6. Donald E. Harter & Mayuram S. Krishnan & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2000. "Effects of Process Maturity on Quality, Cycle Time, and Effort in Software Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 451-466, April.
    7. Anandasivam Gopal & Guodong (Gordon) Gao, 2009. "Certification in the Indian Offshore IT Services Industry," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 471-492, December.
    8. Upadhyayula, Rajesh S. & Dhandapani, Karthik & Karna, Amit, 2017. "The Role of Cluster Presence and Quality Certification in Internationalization and Performance of Offshore Service Providers," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 72-86.
    9. Raufu Oluwatoyin Raheem, 2016. "Workflow Development Effort Estimation as Applied to Web Human Resource Management," Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, Springer;Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management, vol. 17(1), pages 77-100, March.
    10. Nikos Tsikriktsis, 2007. "The Effect of Operational Performance and Focus on Profitability: A Longitudinal Study of the U.S. Airline Industry," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 9(4), pages 506-517, April.
    11. F Ted Tschang, 2011. "A Comparison of the Industrialization Paths for Asian Services Outsourcing Industries, and Implications for Poverty Alleviation," Working Papers id:4537, eSocialSciences.
    12. Remco Dijkman & Sander Vincent Lammers & Ad Jong, 2016. "Properties that influence business process management maturity and its effect on organizational performance," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 717-734, August.
    13. Rajiv D. Banker & Robert J. Kauffman, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: The Evolution of Research on Information Systems: A Fiftieth-Year Survey of the Literature in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 281-298, March.
    14. Ashish Arora & Jonathan P. Caulkins & Rahul Telang, 2006. "Research Note--Sell First, Fix Later: Impact of Patching on Software Quality," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(3), pages 465-471, March.
    15. Donald E. Harter & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2003. "Quality Improvement and Infrastructure Activity Costs in Software Development: A Longitudinal Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(6), pages 784-800, June.
    16. Ngai, E.W.T & Chau, D.C.K. & Poon, J.K.L. & To, C.K.M., 2013. "Energy and utility management maturity model for sustainable manufacturing process," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 453-464.
    17. Anandasivam Gopal & Konduru Sivaramakrishnan & M. S. Krishnan & Tridas Mukhopadhyay, 2003. "Contracts in Offshore Software Development: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(12), pages 1671-1683, December.
    18. Iván Alfaro & Ranganathan Chandrasekaran, 2015. "Software Quality and Development Speed in Global Software Development Teams," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 57(2), pages 91-102, April.
    19. He, Yan-Qun & Chan, Lai-Kow & Wu, Ming-Lu, 2007. "Balancing productivity and consumer satisfaction for profitability: Statistical and fuzzy regression analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 176(1), pages 252-263, January.
    20. Upadhyayula, Rajesh & Karthik, D. & Karna, Amit, 2015. "Role of Clusters and Certification in the Internationalization of Offshoring Service Providers from Emerging Markets: A Study of Indian IT firms," IIMA Working Papers WP2015-03-35, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.


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