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Perceptions From The Trenches: Engineering Management Vs. Mba

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.318.1 - 2.318.10



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Paper Authors

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Matthew R. James

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Mario G. Beruvides

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

Session 2542

PERCEPTIONS FROM THE TRENCHES: ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT vs. MBA Mario G. Beruvides and Matthew R. James Industrial Engineering Department, Texas Tech University

Abstract What is the difference between an engineering management graduate and a student who obtains an MBA degree? If there is no difference, then why do we teach engineering management? This issue, EM vs. MBA, has been played out in the literature, in conference presentations, and discussions amongst practitioners, researchers, and students. Some claim there is no debate. Others are confronted regularly by questions from students, practitioners, industrial advisory board members as well as others on this issue. This paper explores the perceptions of students and professors (in Engineering Management and MBA programs) as well as other stake holders as to the distinguishing characteristics between the two disciplines. An informal survey was run to decipher some of the current views. Content rich data was collected and analyzed using both traditional survey questions along with content analysis of participant responses. The results are presented and analyzed with a discussion on the implications of the results obtained. In addition, some anecdotal data is provided on the running of the project which has some value to educators. The objective of this exercise is to provide engineering management educators some insights to our profession that may not be fully known.

Background The issue of instruction is of critical importance to educators [1], [4]. Instruction is intertwined with the subject matter being delivered and learned. Thus, a theory of teaching is content based. Much has been written on teaching and the improvement of teaching (see [3], [5], [7], and [9] to mention a few). Specifically, in engineering management education, which has been growing over the last number of years [6], the issues of instruction are being investigated, questioned, and debated [2], [8], [10]. This is not unusual, it is the nature of pedagogical evolution in most any organized field of thought. But with engineering management some questions arise as to its

James, M. R., & Beruvides, M. G. (1997, June), Perceptions From The Trenches: Engineering Management Vs. Mba Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6728

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