The difficulties of achieving social acceptance for Software Quality Management systems have been underestimated in the past, and they will be exacerbated in the future by the globalization of the software market and the increasing use of cross-cultural development teams within multinational companies. Management that can take account of the cultural context of their endeavours will improve understanding, minimize risk and ensure a higher degree of success in improvement programs within the software industry. This paper addresses cross-cultural issues in Software Quality Management. Qualitative and quantitative research was carried out in five European countries by using a postal questionnaire. Empirical measures of organizational culture, national culture and their interdependence, are presented together with interim instruments developed for the purpose of classifying organizations. Verification of the statistical results from the survey was carried out by triangulation, which included qualitative research methods in the form of interviews and observation. Cultural factors, which may have bearing on successful adoption and implementation of Software Quality Management were identified, and an assessment model, has been developed for use by organizations developing software in different parts of the world. The intention is that the recommendations following from the assessment will lead to greater cultural awareness in addressing quality, and will provide stimulus for improvement. The model's aims is to predict to what degree there is a fit between the organizational and the national culture, and to give recommendations and guidelines for software process improvement.
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