Collaboration between industry practitioners and researchers has been reported as a challenge to conduct empirical studies in software engineering. Gaining practitioners interest in research activities is challenging in the software development industry characterized by tough competition and short time-to-market. Often, practitioners do not see the direct value in collaborating with researchers. Meanwhile, researchers are frequently frustrated because they have no access to the real-world data that would enable them to develop scientific knowledge. Design science has become a popular research framework in Information Systems. This paper describes our lessons learned on how design science can help to attract and motivate industry practitioners to take part in empirical research. We present our practical experiences with using design science in the context of empirical software engineering, and how the design science framework helped us to bridge the collaborative gap with our industry partners. In illustrating our experiences, we present two case studies conducted in collaboration with Ericsson and Elektrobit in which the design science framework was followed. Based on our experience, design science is a suitable research framework for empirical software engineering since much of the research in the field is constructive. The similarities between the design science practices and the day-to-day work of practitioners in industry make it easy for them to understand the research approach. Thus, it supports their willingness to participate in research activities.
Pilar Rodríguez, Pasi Kuvaja, Markku Oivo (University of Oulu): Lessons learned on applying design science for bridging the collaboration gap between industry and academia in empirical software engineering