Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Computer Science


Dr. Nazim Madhavji


Interpersonal conflicts in software projects have an impact on project’s success, product’s quality, team’s performance, etc. However, in Requirements Engineering (RE), there is dearth of research on this topic; previous research has focused largely on conflicts among requirements. We conducted a case study of an industrial project to determine the characteristics (e.g., type, severity, conflict management styles, etc.) and impact of interpersonal conflicts rooted in RE (RE-Conflicts), on project risks associated with requirements (e..g., inadequately identified requirements, incorrect requirements, etc). The findings show that the conflicts over administrative procedures (47%) had the highest frequency count. The highest number of RE-Conflict incidences took place in the elicitation activity (46%). A significant impact of RE-Conflicts on requirements risks was also observed (e.g., ‘continually changing requirements’ was affected by 80% RE-Conflicts). This knowledge can aid in initiating risk management in RE and in developing tools, mitigation strategies and mid-range theories on RE-Conflicts.