Abstract

What causes the conflicts between industrial designers and engineering designers? How are these conflicts resolved? Furthermore, what view point does each group form toward the other from their dynamic interaction? This study explores a consumer product company to answer these questions. Three industrial designers and three engineering designers working on the same product development were interviewed. As a result, this paper presents the causes of conflicts, conflict resolution strategies, and perceived image of each group. Two types of conflict causes, direct causes and basic causes, are reported. The direct causes are related to tasks in the design process, and the basic causes are structural, underlying the direct causes. The strategies to resolve the causes are also identified. Engineering designers appear to use ‘persuading’ strategy more. It seems that engineering designers prefer to ‘yield’ strategy in most cases and industrial designers use ‘insisting’ strategy more. Each group’s perceived image to the other group has also been investigated. Industrial designers view engineering designers as uncreative, conservative and unadventurous. Engineering designers say industrial designers are inflexible, acquisitive, bossy, and dismissive. Finally, a better way of collaborating between the two groups is discussed, and future research directions are proposed.

Keywords:

Industrial design; engineering design; conflict; resolution strategy; perceived image

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Industrial designers and engineering designers; causes of conflicts, resolving strategies, and perceived image of each other

What causes the conflicts between industrial designers and engineering designers? How are these conflicts resolved? Furthermore, what view point does each group form toward the other from their dynamic interaction? This study explores a consumer product company to answer these questions. Three industrial designers and three engineering designers working on the same product development were interviewed. As a result, this paper presents the causes of conflicts, conflict resolution strategies, and perceived image of each group. Two types of conflict causes, direct causes and basic causes, are reported. The direct causes are related to tasks in the design process, and the basic causes are structural, underlying the direct causes. The strategies to resolve the causes are also identified. Engineering designers appear to use ‘persuading’ strategy more. It seems that engineering designers prefer to ‘yield’ strategy in most cases and industrial designers use ‘insisting’ strategy more. Each group’s perceived image to the other group has also been investigated. Industrial designers view engineering designers as uncreative, conservative and unadventurous. Engineering designers say industrial designers are inflexible, acquisitive, bossy, and dismissive. Finally, a better way of collaborating between the two groups is discussed, and future research directions are proposed.

 

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