Using Mediation Theory to Build a Requirements Conflict Resolution Model

Nan MaTracy HallTrevor BarkerMing Zhang

Conflict is a common phenomenon in our daily life and as such conflict has an important impact on Requirements Engineering (RE). However, in the current RE literature, conflict is often addressed in terms of a technical issue leading to inconsistency in the requirements specification. Little attention is given to the socio-psychological aspects of the conflict. Furthermore, previous RE work typically views the resolution of conflicts in RE as a purely negotiationbased process, in which a requirements engineer acts as a representative of a developer site and negotiates with users. By drawing on the Information Systems and Conflict Resolution literature, we argue that conflict resolution in RE should be a mediated process, in which a requirements engineer acts as a mediator amongst different stakeholders. We introduce our narrative mediation theory and explain how it can be introduced into the field of RE.

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