Teamwork in Integrated Design Projects: Understanding the Effects of Trust, Conflict, and Collaboration on Performance

Francois Chiocchio / Daniel Forgues / David Paradis / Ivanka Iordanova

Teamwork during integrated design projects is complex. We address this problem by investigating how trust, collaboration, and conflict interact and evolve over time to affect performance. Our results stem from data gathered using validated self-report questionnaires with 38 participants in 5 multidisciplinary teams at three points in time during a 6-week integrated design competition. Results show that without collaboration, trust and conflict have no bearing on performance. In addition to an unambiguous practical outcome—fostering collaboration helps build trust and manage conflict—our study points to theoretical developments: as trust– and conflict–performance relations tend to grow over time through project milestones, so does collaboration’s mediating effect.