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Educating Professionals For Technological Leadership

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.170.1 - 1.170.5



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Paper Authors

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William Swart

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Lemuel Tarshis

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Jack McGourty

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

I -—. . Session 2617 :


William Swart / Jack McGourty and Lemuel Tarshis Newark College of Engineering - New Jersey Institute of Technology/Assessment Alternatives, Inc.


This paper summarizes a series of discussions that have been conducted between several leaders from academia and high technology industries to address the role that Colleges of Engineering might play in preparing technical professionals to take their organizations to a position of technological leadership in the global economy. These discussions were motivated partially by the observation that the focus on meeting the needs of the customer that has been so widely preached and practiced during the last decade tends to create market followers. It centers effort and attention on the here and now and diverts attention from the what could be, Yet, it is the “what could be” that can create new markets; markets that arise as a consequence of combining the creative technological potential of the organization with an anticipation of what customers will want . . . once they know it is there. — The Target Population

Over the past several years, increasing competition in the global business arena and significant changes in available technology have forced US companies to rethink the way they select, create, develop, and implement advanced technologies. To meet their objectives, these organizations have a new and increasing need for technological leaders who can navigate their organizations through accelerating technological change. These leaders must create new business/markets based on an appreciation for the capabilities of existing and evolving technologies.

Companies that create and develop new technologies (e.g. high technology companies) rely on engineers and scientists with advanced degrees to achieve their objectives. With the majority of the US production of Ph.D.s in science and engineering being absorbed by these companies, it is likely that the employees who are hired to create and develop new technologies in high tech industries are an older group than other groups of new hires in the organization. This is the group that most probably understands new technologies and the potential for the organization to create and develop them. But, because they have relatively shorter time to “climb the ladder” to the highest levels of corporate management, they are more likely to be corporate followers than leaders. Consequently, they tend to be “pulled” toward executing corporate strategies that were developed more as a . consequence of business, legal, or marketing oriented considerations than by “pushing” corporate strategies through considerations of technological capability.

It is the thesis of this paper that “market creating” strategies can most effectively be developed through a simultaneous, or concurrent, consideration of what technologies the organization “could” develop and an anticipation of what the customer “would” want, but perhaps has not been able to yet articulate. This “technological leadership” will not come about as a consequence of the traditional linear process of conducting

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Swart, W., & Tarshis, L., & McGourty, J. (1996, June), Educating Professionals For Technological Leadership Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6000

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