What affects trust? An Empirical Analysis of Trust between Designers and Developers
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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AbstractGiven the importance of interpersonal trust in a group setting and the initial assumption that developers and designers lack trust in their collaborative efforts, this thesis focuses on inquiring on the what affects trust in interdisciplinary teams of developers and designers working in close collaboration on digital products in Finnish Corporations. The literature informed the research questions. A qualitative research approach and method were chosen, and a collective case study was conducted to unveil what influences trust and how this has an effect on the collaboration between designers and developers. Four designers and three developers were recruited and interviewed in-depth using semi-structured interviews. Using the literature review, the interviews were analysed and revealed seven topics: Communication, Shared Understanding, Relationship, Perception, Habits and working Styles, Management and Roles. These themes are directly or indirectly linked to each other. These themes were further analysed and a matrix was formed dividing these between what has an Indirect or Direct influence on Trust as well as ‘Cornerstone in a Collaboration’, ‘Mediation Strategy in a collaboration’ and Cultural Element’. This categorisation is the main takeaway of this research, and such a matrix can be used to identify the cause of issues with trust between designers and developers in the future. Enabling this identification leads to pinpointing the issue's root cause and can potentially restructure a company’s design and development cooperation framework.
SupervisorSolsona Caba, Núria
Thesis advisorRossi, Matti
Conflict Management, Trust, Mixed Teams, Digital Product Development, Interpersonal Trust, Interdisciplinary teams