Asee peer logo

Managing Engineering Talent in Organizations: A Qualitative Systematic Literature Review on Engineering Talent Management

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Career Development for Engineering Professionals

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Swetha Nittala Purdue University, West Lafayette (School of Engineering Education)

visit author page

Swetha is currently a PhD student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue. Her current work includes identifying and developing leadership and technical competencies for early career engineers and managers. She integrates her research in Engineering Education with prior background in Human Resource Management and Engineering to understand better ways to manage technical talent in organizations.

visit author page


Brent K. Jesiek Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

visit author page

Dr. Brent K. Jesiek is an Associate Professor in the Schools of Engineering Education and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He also leads the Global Engineering Education Collaboratory (GEEC) research group, and is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award to study boundary-spanning roles and competencies among early career engineers. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech. Dr. Jesiek draws on expertise from engineering, computing, and the social sciences to advance understanding of geographic, disciplinary, and historical variations in engineering education and practice.

visit author page

Download Paper |


It is widely accepted that the engineers employed by many companies are an invaluable resource, and that effective management and development of this human resource can enhance a company’s vitality and competitive position. Nonetheless, one of the key challenges for many technical organizations today is the effective management of their engineering resources. It could be argued that talent management emerged as a field to address challenges associated with talent management in general, and that much of the research on talent management is not focused on any specific kind of talent. Yet there is evidence to suggest that the strategies and processes associated with managing and developing engineers are significantly different from managing other types of talent, and very little scholarly research has addressed the specific issues involved with managing engineering talent. As engineering educators, we need to build a framework to better understand and contribute to the continuous development and learning of engineers in the workplace. The goal of the paper is to provide a holistic understanding of previous research on talent management for engineers. In this context, we aim to synthesize the existing literature on talent management to address two basic questions: 1) what specific strategies have been proposed regarding talent management for engineers?, and 2) what challenges associated with managing engineering talent have been identified as most prevalent in organizations?. To address the aforementioned questions, a qualitative systematic review was conducted, with 26 total articles selected for analysis. The search was conducted through multiple databases to include literature from both the management and engineering disciplines, identified using the keywords “talent management”, “talent development”, and “engineer”. This paper aims to inform engineering managers, engineering educators, and industry affiliates about current issues, challenges, and strategies associated with managing engineering talent. It could also provide a coherent framework or foundation for further research on developing engineering talent in organizations.

Nittala, S., & Jesiek, B. K. (2018, June), Managing Engineering Talent in Organizations: A Qualitative Systematic Literature Review on Engineering Talent Management Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30785

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015