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From guess to success: How to govern service-oriented architectures
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance has been identified as the most important factor affecting the outcome of SOA within organisations. However, authors have failed to explain how organisations should govern specific aspects of its SOA, leaving a gap in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate established SOA governance mechanisms in order to explain implications of governance in a SOA context. The research question of the study was to identify which SOA governance mechanisms do or do not provide support for different constituents of SOA. The study also contained three sub-questions; (i) Is there a difference between how SOA governance mechanisms support technical vs. non technical constituents of SOA? (ii) Is there any SOA governance mechanism that is more important than others? (iii) Is there a relation between the SOA governance mechanisms?


The study was conducted using theories related to SOA and SOA governance. We identified the most academically accepted SOA governance mechanisms to test their support for different constituents of SOA. To get an holistic view of SOA, we used a SOA maturity framework to identify what the constituents of SOA really are. The support of the SOA governance mechanisms were then studied in relation to the different constituents of SOA, through interviews and observations, during a ten week internship at Scania.


The results showed that as good as every SOA governance mechanism supports the constituents of SOA, although the level of support varied. In general, we found patterns separating the support for technological and non-technological constituents of SOA. The technological constituents of SOA were to a great extent provided the same support from SOA governance mechanisms, which also was true for the non-technological constituents of SOA. Interestingly, except for one SOA governance mechanism, the technological constituents of SOA and the non-technological obtained different levels of support from governance. The most important SOA governance mechanisms are the creation of standards and policies, having processes to create and enforce policies, processes for education, and establishing SOA skills and training. We can also conclude that there is a relationship between many of the SOA governance mechanisms, and that academics and practitioners therefore have to view SOA governance holistically, rather than independent governance mechanisms. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Service-oriented architecture, SOA, SOA governance, SOA governance mechanisms
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-255163OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-255163DiVA: diva2:821270
External cooperation
Educational program
Master Programme in Management, Communication and IT
Available from: 2015-06-30 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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