What is?

The importance of trust between machines and people

Karlien Vanderheyden

By Karlien Vanderheyden

Professor of Organisational Behaviour

08 October 2020

Have you experienced first-hand how colleagues in your company resisted a new technology? One of the reasons this happens, is because of our trust towards machines and systems. This kind of trust is different from the trust we experience between people. Warmth, for instance, helps us trusting other people, but is a characteristic that machines lack. Based on our in-house research on planners and planning systems, we found several factors that help building trust towards machines. In this ‘What is’ video, Professor Karlien Vanderheyden looks at three examples. 

What is video Vanderheyden

Planners have certain expectations, certain hopes and fears, when it comes to the introduction of a new planning system. From our research, it was made clear that communicating upfront about what a system or a new update brings to the table is very important. By doing so, companies can regulate their planners’ expectations. If you overpromise, the trust of your planners towards the system plummets from day one.

Secondly, receiving training and having an expert in the team also influences planners’ trust in the system. When learning to work with a new system, planners feel more comfortable with the system’s new functionalities. Having an expert in the planning team who understands the system on a higher level, and who can be consulted in case of doubts, is also reassuring for planners’ trust in the system.

Finally, planners also find it immensely important that they are involved in the development or expansion of a system, or at least be able to share their opinion. Companies that refuse or forget to do so, run the risk of confronting their employees with a forced adoption, and this leads to a negative attitude towards the system and less trust.

What is the importance of trust between man and machine

What is the importance of trust between machines and people?

Professor Karlien Vanderheyden explains which factors can help building more trust towards machines.

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Karlien Vanderheyden

Karlien Vanderheyden

Associate Professor