The problem undertaken in this dissertation was a study of morale among computer programmers. The specific problems were to determine whether organizational characteristics impede computer programmer task performance, to determine whether role demands imposed by the organization are in conflict with the role perceptions of computer programmers, and to determine the effect of this dissonance on computer programmer morale. The data gathered in the course of research conducted in conjunction with this study are derived from questionnaires mailed to computer programmers and their managers, and from telephone interviews with several of the managers. Responses came from twenty-seven firms primarily in the New York City area, but also from several other states. The questionnaire used in this study was developed by the writer of this dissertation, following the basic format of the specific problems. The instruments used in the construction of the questionnaire were the Improved Climate Questionnaire (Form B) and Task Analysis Questionnaire, developed by Litwin and Stringer, and the Individual Preference Study, developed by Zaleznik.Data from telephone responses were the result of informal, unstructured interviews with managers from seventeen of the twenty-seven firms involved. Among the conclusions reached in this study are that computer programmers feel unduly hampered by the structure of business organizations, that tasks that programmers are required to perform are boring and prosaic, that standards imposed are perceived as unnecessary and inhibiting, that the reward structure is inadequate, that newer programmers are more unhappy than their seniors, and that there is a loss of personal identity in the larger firms. In addition, programmers perceive their tasks as highly and primarily affiliative, as opposed to power or achievement oriented, programmers perceive themselves as special and independent and think that they should be treated that way, and, finally, that programmers have a negative feeling concerning their workplace, that is, programmer morale is low. Independent studies conducted on other professions, specifically engineers and accountants, also point to a growing morale problem among those groups.

Subject Area

Computer science

Recommended Citation

BRUSCA, RAYMOND JOSEPH, "COMPUTER PROGRAMMER MORALE" (1984). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI8416971.



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