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A Strategic Engineering Management Approach to Innovation and Organizational Sustainability: An Addition to the Engineering Management Curriculum?

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Collection

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count

23

Page Numbers

24.109.1 - 24.109.23

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20001

Download Count

36

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Paper Authors

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Michael Browder Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

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Michael Browder, a past chairman of American Public Power Association’s Board, has served as CEO of Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) since 1977. He earned his doctorate of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from ETSU, his Master of Administrative Science from the University of Alabama Huntsville and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Auburn University. He is a registered Professional Engineer. Dr. Browder is the 2010 recipient of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence Ned Ray McWherter Leadership Award. Under his leadership, BTES has been awarded the prestigious TNCPE Level 4 Excellence Award both in 1993 and 2013.

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Andrew J. Czuchry East Tennessee State University

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Andrew Czuchry received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 1969 with a concentration in guidance and control systems engineering. He has more than twenty years experience as a professional manager in technical innovation and the electronics manufacturing industry. Dr. Czuchry has been the holder of the AFG Industries Chair of Excellence in Business and Technology since joining East Tennessee State University in 1992. He has published extensively in refereed journals and proceedings of professional organizations related to his field.

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Leslie Boughers Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

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Leslie Boughers is the Customer Relations Representative at Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) where she is responsible for company publications as well as marketing and advertising. She also manages and maintains the BTES website and writes award applications for the company. She graduated from ETSU in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Leslie has been on the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence Board of Examiners for four years and has been a Team Leader for the past two years. She was a recipient of the Tri-Cities 40 Under Forty award in 2012. Leslie is a member of the Rotary Club of Tri-Cities at BMS where she is the Alumni Coordinator, Public Relations Chair and President-Elect.

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Caroline Deutsch East Tennessee State University

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Caroline Deutsch graduated in France from Euromed in international business management. She then received her BBA in marketing where she specialized in communication at East Tennessee State University (ETSU).
Ms. Deutsch currently works as a graduate assistant in research for the AFG Industries Chair of Excellence in Business and Technology at ETSU while completing her master’s degree in engineering technology. She has provided consultancy in various fields.

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Nina Muehl East Tennessee State University

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Nina Muehl received her BBA in Management with a Minor in Marketing from East Tennessee State University, Magna Cum Laude, 2011. She is currently an MBA student at East Tennessee State University and expected to graduate December 2013. Outside the classroom Nina played for the Women’s Golf Team during her Bachelor studies and achieved several Most Valuable Player awards and was named several times in the first conference team.

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Abstract

A Strategic Engineering Management Approach to Innovation and Organizational Sustainability: An Addition to the Engineering Management Curriculum?The Baldrige National Performance Excellence Criteria (2013 -2014) places increased emphasison organizational sustainability in terms of societal, environmental, and financial impacts; andinnovation as a discontinuous change in engineering designs and/or business models. Suchconcepts may become important considerations for engineering managers in today’s globalmarketplace. Engineering management educators may become a major player in transformingcompliance with performance specifications into an enhanced competitive business advantage byoffering a total systems approach to managing innovation while ensuring the long term viabilityof the business itself. The applied research presented in this paper provides a conceptualframework for translating strategy into implementation results via a modified Plan – Do – Check– Act Shewhart / Deming improvement opportunity identification and corrective action closedloop management cycle. The framework given in Figure 1 has proven effective introducingdiscontinuous innovations in an engineering technology business and has three best practicesembedded that have enhanced internal efficiencies as well.This framework may also make a contribution to those in higher education faced with thechallenge of reforming engineering education in the Engineering Management curriculum.Engineering design has always involved innovation. However, from a management perspective,the creative step in the process requires a combination of business and engineering skills in orderto create value that a customer is willing to pay a premium to receive. With today’s demandsplaced upon the engineering curriculum, little room is available for additional courses.Therefore, ways to embed these business and technology issues into our current engineeringmanagement courses could result in significant benefits. This paper also provides a practicalexample of one organization’s transformation from an electrical power distribution organizationthat expanded their customer provided services to include Internet, telephone and cable servicesover a fiber optic network through the systematic and simultaneous implementation ofinnovation and organizational sustainability principles. Of their 33,000 electric customers, over14,000 also purchase one or more the fiber optic offerings and the company is operating thisbusiness segment in the black. Now the organization continues to explore smart grid approachesto level electrical power system load demands.In the September 2013 Prism, Ferreiro suggests that: “our [engineering] students should learn tothink strategically about systems design and management.” Perhaps the framework given inFigure 1 of our article makes a contribution by providing guideposts for achieving this importantobjective. The article also gives three management process benchmarks that could be embeddedin a systems engineering course to underscore the importance of addressing combined businessand engineering challenges systematically. These processes are: 1) listening to the voice of thecustomer to address marketing issues; 2) a “check-act-plan-do” process for piloting and provinginnovations without disrupting the existing embedded management procedures; and 3)storytelling to systematically communicate mission, vision and values and provide springboardsto imagine discontinuous improvements for improving customer satisfaction and achievingorganizational sustainability. In this context organizational sustainability is measured by aweighted combination of economic, environmental, and societal benefits.Figure 1: A Strategic Engineering Management Approach to Innovation and Organizational Sustainability with Embedded Best Practices

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: © 2014 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