A method for analyzing stakeholders’ influence on an open source software ecosystem’s requirements engineering process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


For a firm in an open source software (OSS) ecosystem, the requirements engineering (RE) process is rather multifaceted. Apart from its typical RE process, there is a competing process, external to the firm and inherent to the firm’s ecosystem. When trying to impose an agenda in competition with other firms, and aiming to align internal product planning with the ecosystem’s RE process, firms need to consider who and how influential the other stakeholders are, and what their agendas are. The aim of the presented research is to help firms identify and analyze stakeholders in OSS ecosystems, in terms of their influence and interactions, to create awareness of their agendas, their collaborators, and how they invest their resources. To arrive at a solution artifact, we applied a design science research approach where we base artifact design on the literature and earlier work. A stakeholder influence analysis (SIA) method is proposed and demonstrated in terms of applicability and utility through a case study on the Apache Hadoop OSS ecosystem. SIA uses social network constructs to measure the stakeholders’ influence and interactions and considers the special characteristics of OSS RE to help firms structure their stakeholder analysis processes in relation to an OSS ecosystem. SIA adds a strategic aspect to the stakeholder analysis process by addressing the concepts of influence and interactions, which are important to consider while acting in collaborative and meritocratic RE cultures of OSS ecosystems.


External organisations
  • University of Victoria
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Software Engineering


  • Open source, Requirements engineering, Software ecosystem, Stakeholder analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-130
Number of pages16
JournalRequirements Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date2019 Apr 19
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar
Publication categoryResearch

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