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Power and politics in requirements engineering: embracing the dark side?

Milne, A. & Maiden, N. (2012). Power and politics in requirements engineering: embracing the dark side?. Requirements Engineering, 17(2), pp. 83-98. doi: 10.1007/s00766-012-0151-6


This vision paper considers the role of power and politics in requirements engineering (RE). It offers a working definition of both terms and reviews the existing literature both in RE and related disciplines. It argues that, given the increased complexity, uncertainty and organisational embeddedness faced by RE in practice, power and politics have become increasingly relevant factors that have not been adequately considered. Building upon recent relevant research, a research agenda is proposed that presents a methodological framework which examines power and politics through the structure of power relations and the process of decision-making. This framework will require validation through empirical research as a first step to developing models of power and politics that could be of practical use for RE. Although the potential problems faced by the study of power and politics in an RE context are acknowledged, it is argued that the potential benefits could be significant.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: decision making; power; politics; requirements engineering; stakeholders
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Departments: School of Science & Technology
SWORD Depositor:
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