Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 25 Number 4 2009 pp. 271-297

Patterns of Transition: The Shift from Traditional to Object-Oriented Development

Nelson, H James, Armstrong, Deborah J, and Nelson, Kay M

ABSTRACT: While many of the changes that information systems professionals encounter are incremental requiring only modifications to an existing mind-set, others represent radical changes that require a fundamental shift in mind-set in order to fully benefit from the change. The goal of this study was to examine how software development concept thinking changes as individuals shift their mind-set to the object-oriented software development approach. The results indicate that the transition may not be as simple as a single "aha!" moment, but rather a series of cognitive shifts as constructs from the old mind-set are replaced by constructs in the new mind-set. In addition, this study identifies problems that may be encountered during the transition due to a lack of cognitive fit, confusion, and reverting to an inappropriate mind-set. The findings from this study may be used to decrease the learning curve and minimize the number of cognitive shifts experienced during the transition.

Key words and phrases: learning models, object-oriented approach, organizational change, personnel IS, personnel training, software development