Pressure and Trust in Competitive Engineering

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Pulm, Udo; Stetter, Ralf
Section: Human Behavior in Design
Page(s): 69-80


In competitive engineering the term "pressure" is used frequently. Design engineers often face time pressure or cost pressure. Pressure can be described as activities of individuals or groups which are intended to fasten or change the behavior of other individuals or groups, i.e. mainly to increase the workload one has to accomplish. Pressure can be either an incitement or an abashment. In sports research, pressure has been identified as a major influencing factor since several years and is researched intensively. In design research a recent focus has been on trust and emotional alignment in teams. Trust is a main prerequisite for knowledge sharing in collaborative design; extensive pressure seems to hinder knowledge sharing and communication. This paper presents and explains the hypothesis that pressure and trust are two main influences on collaborative design productivity and that the functions and consequences of both can only be fully understood if they are considered simultaneously. The paper is based on an extensive literature review, a retrospective analysis of two design engineers, logical reasoning, and numerous discussions with colleagues in practice and academia.

Keywords: Pressure, Trust, Product Development Processes, Knowledge, Innovation


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