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Given the importance of software in today's world, the development of software systems is a key activity that requires complex management scenarios. This article explores the implications of hard decisions in the context of software development projects (SDPs). More in deep, it focuses on the emotional consequences of making hard decisions in IT organisations. Complex SDPs involve a great variety of actors. This fact entails morale, feelings and emotions, which play an important role for communication, interaction and, ultimately, decision making. The aim of the article is twofold. First (Study 1), to identify which are the most important hard decisions in SDPS. Second (Study 2), to study the influence of emotions on decision-making processes (Study 2). Findings show the complex emotional consequences and difficulties that managers must face in hard decision-making processes.
hard decisions; emotions; software project management; delphi method; decision making; task analysis; information systems success; emotional response; organisational performance