The Relationship Between Power Distance, Trust, and Performance in Video Game Development Teams

  • Hershall Cook SMU Guildhall
  • Elizabeth Stringer SMU Guildhall
  • John Slocum SMU: Cox School of Business


This study investigated the effect of power distance and intra-team trust on performance in video game development teams. Drawing on a data set of 11 student teams developing mobile video games, we found a significant positive relationship between intra-team trust and team performance over time. The growth in the significance of this relationship over time paralleled Tuckman and Jensen’s (2010) four stages of group development (forming, storming, norming, and performing). No relationship was identified between team power distance and team performance. These findings contribute to forming a general understanding of how power distance and team trust affect the performance of video game development teams.

June 9, 2020