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Ethics For Industrial Technology Majors: Need And Plan Of Action

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

International Engineering Education II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.590.1 - 10.590.14



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Paper Authors

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Radha Balamuralikrishna

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Kurt Rosentrater

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


Ethics for Industrial Technology Majors: Need and Plan of Action

K. A. Rosentrater USDA, ARS, NGIRL, 2923 Medary Ave., Brookings, SD, 57006, USA Phone: (605) 693-3241; Fax: (605) 693-5240; Email:

R. Balamuralikrishna Department of Technology, Northern Illinois University, 206 Still Hall, DeKalb, IL, 60015, USA Phone: (815) 753-4155; Fax: (815) 753-3702; Email:


The recent introduction of sessions dedicated to “Industrial Technology” in the annual ASEE conference is testimony that this discipline has gained its rightful place in the company of engineering and engineering technology. This new level of partnership and collaboration between engineering and technology programs promises to be a step in the right direction for society at large. Engineering and technology majors both supplement and complement each other’s knowledge and skills and it is crucial for educators to build bridges of active interaction. This paper takes aim at one specific as well as basic need in teamwork and interdisciplinary projects – ethics and its implications for professional practice. The primary focus here is to promote ethics education among a wider audience that includes industrial technologists.

A preliminary study suggests that students majoring in industrial technology degree programs may not have adequate opportunity to formally study and engage in ethical aspects of technology vis-à- vis the practices of the profession. The core curriculum in industrial technology is typically comprised of technical and business courses with significant variation among individual programs. It is reasonable to assume that the ethical issues or dilemmas faced by an industrial technologist would parallel those that of engineers and managers. The authors, both coming with engineering as well as business backgrounds, coupled with significant experience in teaching industrial technology majors, identify a domain of knowledge that would constitute a necessary background in ethics for industrial technologists. Further, this paper also examines various resources for teaching and makes recommendations from a pedagogical point of view.

Keywords Curriculum Development, Ethics, Industrial Technology, Society


The college education of engineers and technologists in the United States in the key areas of construction, manufacturing, communications, and transportation manifests itself in the form of three broad degree programs that can be identified as engineering, engineering technology, and industrial technology. Engineering degree programs have a longer history and even though certain misconceptions regarding the profession of the engineer still do exist among the general public, it is fair to state that the profession is well advertised among high school students and the public at large.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Balamuralikrishna, R., & Rosentrater, K. (2005, June), Ethics For Industrial Technology Majors: Need And Plan Of Action Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15479

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