Exploring the relationship between gender identity and the development of a shared understanding between designers.

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Johnson, Erin; Krishnakumar, Sandeep; Letting, Cynthia; Soria-Zurita, Nicolas; Menold, Jessica
Series: ICED
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1825-1834
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.183


Prior work has demonstrated that gender identity affects team psychological safety, which is critical to the development of a shared understanding of the task. Further, we know that a shared understanding can increase team cohesion and team performance. Little work has investigated how gender differences affect communicative acts within the context of design, and more specifically how gender differences may affect the development of a shared understanding of the design concept between designers. As a first step towards filling this gap, the current work presents findings from a controlled study conducted at The Pennsylvania State University with 22 design dyads (44 designers). The findings from this study indicate that gender identity within design dyads does not affect participants’ shared understanding of a design concept.

Keywords: Human behaviour in design, Teamwork, Design engineering

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