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A Research Agenda For Engineering Management

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Strategic Issues in EM Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.113.1 - 8.113.4



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Paper Authors

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Paul Kauffmann

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session: 3542

A Research Agenda for the Engineering Management Division

Paul Kauffmann Old Dominion University

Abstract A widespread issue in engineering management programs is establishing relevancy in the college of engineering curricular program both at the graduate and undergraduate level. For example, traditional engineering faculty who do not possess industry experience do not understand the program value. Similarly, potential students with engineering backgrounds do not understand the differences in engineering management and business programs. Even many employers do not fully appreciate the potential engineering management programs present for significant organizational change. Even within the discipline, the focus varies between an emphasis on soft skills and quantitative skills. This paper proposes a research agenda for the engineering management division that targets examination of these issues and long-term definition of the discipline by using educational assessment and effectiveness measures and also by study of skills necessary for student success in the work place.

The Issue This paper proposes that the primary issue facing engineering management educators and the broader field of engineering management practice is identification of the case for engineering management as a defined, identifiable field of study with a specified content boundary that is appropriate for this field. This issue then can relate to identification of why such a field of study is useful to graduates, how it is differentiated from or similar to related fields, and the potential impact on career opportunities. This endeavor requires a research agenda that is discussed in detail in following sections.

The ASEE Engineering Management Division (EMD) is the organization that spans education and educational research and its members are best suited, equipped, and credible to pursue this agenda. Consequently, proposal of and discussion of the research agenda with the members of this group is an essential first step in pursuing the general goal of a research agenda. The result of this process over several years should be the development of a focus that serves to crystallize the educational research efforts of the group and gradually answers the identified issues.

This last point raises an important point: a research agenda is not a static set of goals and objectives. Consequently, the EMD should envision that developing a research agenda is an evolutionary process. For example, if the first generation agenda focuses on developing the defined field of engineering management and how it is differentiated, the following generation will need to track how this definition changes as the world of business and technology evolves over time. The next section proposes a starting point for the EMD research agenda.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Kauffmann, P. (2003, June), A Research Agenda For Engineering Management Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11615

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015