A CORRELATIONAL STUDY ON FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE COHESION OF SOFTWARE ENGINEERING STUDENTS TEAMS

D. Tamayo1, W. Van Petegem2, Y. Cruz Ochoa3, M. Noda Hernández4

1University of Holguin (CUBA)
2KU Leuven (BELGIUM)
3Datys (CUBA)
4Ministry of Higher Education (CUBA)
Human aspects in software engineering have gained more attention in the last years due its socio-technical nature. Modern software development involves intensive, often globally distributed teamwork, with teams being required to develop software on schedule and on budget, satisfying detailed specifications. In that context, cohesion is considered as one of the human factors that plays a central role. It has been found that cohesion can influence team effectiveness, motivation, productivity and team performance. Consequently, research on team cohesion has an important value for software engineering development nowadays. However, it has been scarcely studied in software engineering education.

In this work a correlational study was conducted in order to examine what factors affect team cohesion of software engineering student teams. From the literature review we identified the factors already studied in educational settings for collocated teams. Then a survey was developed and presented to a sample of 61 students performing on 17 teams, during the spring of 2017 in Cuba. The results confirm partly the general set of factors as derived from the literature review, but also some striking particularities of factors that influence cohesion in software engineering student teams.