Student Theses and Projects:Understanding Conflicts in Complex Multidisciplinary Systems


Thesis (BA/MA/DA/Guided Research), Reference-number: 2017-148

Advisor(s): Mohammadreza Basirati


Systems are becoming more complex and consequently their requirements too [1]. Product service system (PSS) [2] is a sample of such transformation, which integrates products and services into one system functioning together (an example are car sharing systems). Another example is cyber-physical system (CPS) in which, software and physical parts are seamlessly connected together [3]. Development of such systems necessitates more cross-functional collaborations. Therefore, requirements from heterogeneous domains are collected, negotiated, managed and implemented. To this end, stakeholders with different expertise and background domains and dissimilar mind-sets have to collaborate with each other. However, the background and cultural gap between stakeholders from different domains causes misunderstandings and conflicts. Therefore, to manage these conflicts, in this thesis we aim to address: What conflicts are more common in practice? How conflicts are identified and resolved in practice? How the conflicts influence on project success?


[1] Northrop, Linda, et al. Ultra-large-scale systems: The software challenge of the future. CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INST, 2006.
[2] Mont, Oksana K. "Clarifying the concept of product–service system." Journal of cleaner production 10.3 (2002): 237-245.
[3] Poovendran, R. A. D. H. A. "Cyber–physical systems: Close encounters between two parallel worlds [point of view]." Proceedings of the IEEE 98.8 (2010): 1363-1366.


  • Performing literature review on conflict management
  • Performing a interviews or survey
  • Identifying common conflict types in practice
  • Identifying common conflict identification methods and tools • Identifying common conflict resolution methods
  • Identifying effects of conflict on project success 


  • Motivation to convey qualitative research methods
  • Interest in complex systems like product service systems

This thesis can be adopted based on your interests. 

Further Information

Please send your application including our application form, "Notenauszug" from TUMonline, and cv to Please note that we can only consider applications with complete documents.


Announcement date: 26.01.2018