Antecedents and consequences of collective empathy in software development project teams

Akgun A. E. , Keskin H. , Cebecioglu A. Y. , Dogan D.

INFORMATION & MANAGEMENT, vol.52, no.2, pp.247-259, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/
  • Title of Journal : INFORMATION & MANAGEMENT
  • Page Numbers: pp.247-259
  • Keywords: Collective empathy, Team learning, Speed-to-market, Software development, Project teams, EMOTIONAL CAPABILITY, PERFORMANCE, KNOWLEDGE, SUCCESS, TRUST, COMMUNICATION, CONSTRUCTION, FAMILIARITY, INTEGRATION, COMPLEXITY


The term empathy has attracted many researchers from a variety of disciplines; however, a team's collective empathy, which is composed of cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions, has rarely been addressed in the literature. In this study, we empirically investigated the relationship between the collective empathy of a team and the effectiveness of its project process. Additionally, we tested the role of team intimacy-related factors, such as interpersonal trust, within-team communication, and team member familiarity, in collective empathy, as well as the moderating role of group norms on the collective empathy-process effectiveness link. By studying 122 software development projects, we found that cognitive-based trust, formal within-team communication, and team member familiarity influence the collective empathy of project teams. We also found that collective empathy affects team learning and product speed-to-market and results in lower project development costs. Furthermore, we determined that the existence of group norms moderates the relationships among collective empathy, speed-to-market, and lower development costs. The managerial and theoretical implications of the study have also been provided. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.