June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.370.1 - 11.370.10
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. https://peer.asee.org/42
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