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A Study Of Financial Analysis Expectations And Practices In The Engineering Management Workplace

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.106.1 - 6.106.7



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Paper Authors

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Resit Unal

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Andres Sousa-Poza

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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: 2542

A Study of Financial Analysis Expectations and Practices in the Engineering Management Workplace

Paul Kauffmann, Resit Unal, Andres Sousa-Poza Old Dominion University William Peterson Mercer University Abstract

This paper describes an on-going study of Master of Engineering Management (MEM) students and the financial analysis related job expectations and environment they face. The objective of this effort is to provide enhanced understanding of these requirements so that instructional content in the related courses can be focused to meet these needs. To achieve this goal, the study segments findings based on a range of organizational and job level characteristics to identify critical differences in the financial work environment and the financial tools that are employed. Preliminary findings are discussed in this paper and contrasts between public and private sector practices are examined.

I. Introduction

Master of Engineering Management (MEM) programs offer unique educational challenges to faculty. First, most students are several years or more into their career and have strong opinions on job related requirements. As a result, they judge the quality of course content, in large part, based on the likelihood of application and use of this material in the work place. This issue of workplace application of course material leads to a second challenge. Since the activities and tasks in the engineering management work place are both diverse and constantly changing, the instructor’s challenge is to provide material that is immediately useful to a wide range of work environments but yet maintains shelf life for application several years into the future.

MEM students have particularly high expectations related to financial analysis skills. A primary reason for this is that many technical and engineering oriented students select MEM programs in lieu of alternative business related programs such as the MBA. Consequently, there is an expectation that the MEM program provide a high degree of the “business sense” that is perceived to be critical for climbing the corporate or organizational ladder. The success in meeting these expectations is primarily based on the materials in the financial analysis course(s) similar to graduate level engineering economics.

Several studies have examined the financial analysis tools that corporations employ [1,2]. But these studies did not specifically track the translation of these tools into the engineering management work place at the operating manager (first level manager, second level manager, and program / project manager) and engineer level. Consequently they are of limited use to the MEM instructor since they provide high - level organizational data, primarily from larger public sector firms. The study described in this paper targets development of detailed understanding of the financial analysis practices specifically employed in the MEM student work place. From a

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Unal, R., & Sousa-Poza, A., & Kauffmann, P. (2001, June), A Study Of Financial Analysis Expectations And Practices In The Engineering Management Workplace Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9814

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