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Counting Past Two: Engineers' Leadership Learning Trajectories

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Advancing Research on Engineering Leaders’ Confidence, Careers, and Styles

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

30

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32552

Download Count

8

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Paper Authors

biography

Cindy Rottmann University of Toronto

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Cindy Rottmann is the Associate Director of Research at the Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering, University of Toronto. Her research interests include engineering leadership in university and workplace settings as well as ethics and equity in engineering education.

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Doug Reeve University of Toronto

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Dr. Reeve is the founding Director of the Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (Troost ILead) (2010-2018) at the University of Toronto. After a lengthy career as a consulting engineer, he made development of personal capability central to his work with engineering students. In 2002 he established Leaders of Tomorrow, a student leadership development program that led to the establishment of ILead in 2010. He is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry.

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Serhiy Kovalchuk University of Toronto

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Serhiy Kovalchuk is a research associate at the Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto.

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Mike Klassen University of Toronto

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Mike Klassen is PhD Candidate in Higher Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He was a long-time team member at the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead). Mike has an MA in Higher Education and a BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto.

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Milan Maljkovic

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Emily L. Moore University of Toronto

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Dr. Emily Moore is the Director of the Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (Troost ILead) at the University of Toronto. Emily spent 20 years as a professional chemical engineer, first as an R&D engineer in a Fortune 500 company, and then leading innovation and technology development efforts in a major engineering firm.

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Abstract

Abstract:

In the early 1950s, many science and technology focused organizations in the United States and Canada began to formalize a technical career track to accommodate the professional aspirations of engineers reluctant to abandon technical work for management [1-7]. While the resulting dual career track model—characterized by both managerial and technical ladders—remains dominant in human resource management theory, there is little evidence that engineers’ actual work experiences map on to two discrete domains [8, 9]. Our paper expands the dual track model by tracing the actual career paths and leadership learning experiences of 28 senior engineers in eight industries. We do this, not to better understand engineers’ career paths for their own sake, but rather to examine how engineers learn to lead in workplace contexts. In particular, we ask two organizationally related research questions: 1) What career paths do engineering leaders follow? and 2) How do they learn to lead along the way? After briefly reviewing the literature on engineering leadership development and engineers’ career paths, we introduce the situated learning perspective that grounds our work and present our findings in two parts. Part one characterizes six discrete paths—1) Company man, 2) Technical specialist, 3) Boundary spanner, 4) Entrepreneur, 5) Social impact change agent, and 6) Invisible engineer, and part two identifies salient leadership learning experiences that correspond with each path. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for engineering leadership educators.

Rottmann, C., & Reeve, D., & Kovalchuk, S., & Klassen, M., & Maljkovic, M., & Moore, E. L. (2019, June), Counting Past Two: Engineers' Leadership Learning Trajectories Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32552

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