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Creating Cultural Understanding In Engineering Technology Curricula

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

International Case Studies, Collaborations and Interactions

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.370.1 - 11.370.10



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Paper Authors


Charlie Edmonson University of Dayton

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CHARLIE P. EDMONSON is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Industrial Engineering Technology at the University of Dayton. Prior to joining the faculty at UD, he retired from the U. S. Air Force after 30 years of engineering design, industrial engineering, and experience at various levels of management.

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Donna Summers University of Dayton

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Donna C.S. Summers, Ph.D. is a professor of Industrial Engineering Technology at the University of Dayton. Her major areas of concentration are Quality Assurance and Human Factors. She has published two texts: Quality and Quality Management, both by Prentice Hall. She holds a BSME from University of Cincinnati and an MSIE from Purdue University. She obtained her Doctorate in Industrial Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

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

Creating Cultural Understanding in Engineering Technology Curricula


Global industrial opportunities have expanded exponentially, changing the educational and experiential needs of today’s graduates. With more and more opportunities to interact with other cultures through customers, subsidiaries, joint ventures, and organization expansions, engineering and engineering technology graduates need a deeper understanding of the cultural differences that await them1.

At the University of Dayton, the Engineering Technology department has taken a two pronged approach to creating cultural awareness and understanding in the curricula. Students interested in expanding their knowledge of other cultures can take IET 415, Management of Technical Organizations, a course specifically designed to discuss cultural management issues in today’s global economy. More adventurous students can participate in cultural experiences offered by either the ETHOS or study abroad programs offered at the University of Dayton. The first section of this paper describes the structure of the course, including a look at the pros and cons of offering such a course. The second half of this paper provides insight into a recent study abroad experience in China involving engineering technology students.

IET 415 Management of Technical Organizations

IET 415, Management of Technical Organizations, began as a traditional organization and management course. Over time, based on the input of our industrial advisory committee, the course evolved into a course focusing on four key topics:

- developing a working knowledge of current business management practices - understanding the effects of globalization on organizational competitiveness - understanding how cultural diversity, ethical conduct and social responsibility affect decisions in the workplace - developing a working knowledge of teams, teamwork, negotiation and personnel management in a diverse work force.

In today’s environment of global competitiveness, all four of these topics take on a world-wide perspective. Our graduates may work in the U.S. for a multi-national U.S. corporation or work in the U.S. for a multi-national foreign corporation or work with multi-national customers. In many organizations, a stint overseas is often expected, so our graduates may work in another country for a multi-national U.S. corporation or work in another country for a multi-national foreign corporation. An introduction to cultural and business practices throughout the world is important for their success upon graduation.

Based on these four topic areas, the Management of Technical Organizations course (Figure 1) is divided into three sections:

Edmonson, C., & Summers, D. (2006, June), Creating Cultural Understanding In Engineering Technology Curricula Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--42

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