Transparency and contracts: Continuous integration and delivery in the automotive ecosystem
Paper in proceeding, 2018

© 2018 ACM. Most of the innovation in automotive is nowadays coming from electronics and software. The pressure of reducing time to market and increasing flexibility while keeping quality are leading motivations for these companies to embrace system-wide Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI&D), which in the scope of complex automotive value-chains, implies inter-organizational CI&D. In this paper, we investigate the challenges and impediments posed by inter-organizational CI&D in the automotive domain, i.e. continuous software development that involves agile interaction between an OEM (the car manufacturer) and its software suppliers. In particular, we focus on legal contracts that regulate the agreements between these companies and transparency intended as the degree/level of information that is shared between the various companies in the value-chain. The main findings of this study show that (i) inter-organizational transparency is considered positive but not a necessary condition for inter-organizational CI&D, (ii) transparency has positive effects on information sharing among different companies, and (iii) legal contracts are an impediment for inter-organizational CI&D. The results of the study provide useful insights for practitioners that work in similar settings. In addition, the identified challenges and impediments define a research agenda for researchers.


Interview survey

Legal contracts

Continuous integration and delivery


Information sharing


Rob Van Der Valk

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Patrizio Pelliccione

P. Lago

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Rogardt Heldal

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Eric Knauss

Jacob Juul

Volvo Cars

Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering

02705257 (ISSN)

Vol. Part F137352 23-32

40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018
Gothenburg, Sweden,

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Software Engineering

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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