Thesis Opportunity: An Experiment in German-Chinese Collaboration

Some software firms move some or all of their software development to foreign nations to take advantage of lower labor costs in those other countries. One example are German firms performing joint software development projects with firms located in China. While financially attractive, such projects are difficult to realize, and many projects fail. This Master Thesis provides a literature and conceptual review of the challenges of distributed development and international project management between Germany and China, and will conduct an experiment in distributed projects between two software engineering classes, one held at University of Erlangen, and one held at Tsinghua University. The experiment will test a particular hypothesis as to what makes such projects more effective and reports about the results of the experiment.

Expected Work Results

  • Formulation of research hypothesis (to be discussed with advisor)
  • Description of the research hypothesis
  • Planning of experiment to test hypothesis
  • Execution of experiment during SS 2012
  • Review of literature and related work on hypothesis
    • General review of challenges to distributed development
    • Specific review of literature related to hypothesis
  • Analysis of experiment results
    • Description of experiment and results
    • Validation or invalidation of hypothesis
    • Discussion of further follow-on work


    Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, M.B.A.
    University of Erlangen


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