The rise and fall of management: undergraduate engineering management education in Australia
Palmer, Stuart 2006, The rise and fall of management: undergraduate engineering management education in Australia, in Creativity, challenge, change: partnerships in engineering education, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, [Auckland, N.Z.].
The modern disciplines of engineering and management are inextricably linked. Frederick Taylor, Henry Gantt and Henri Fayol are engineers whose names are also part of the history of the theory and practice of management. As far back as 1968 it was identified that, “In all phases of practice in the profession the technical work is coupled, to a greater or lesser extent, with engineering management.” For more than 20 years the call had been increasing for an improvement in the preparation of engineering graduates in the area of management skills. In 1989 the IEAust created the task force on management engineering with the goal of formulating a policy for management education in engineering undergraduate courses. In 1990, the Council of the IEAust approved the Policy on Management Studies in Engineering Undergraduate Courses that said, “From January 1991 the Institution will require at least 5% management content in all professional engineering undergraduate courses and that the total of all management and management related components rises to the vicinity of 10% by 1995.” A 1999 analysis of engineering programs showed that the Policy had been applied with enthusiasm by about one-third of the engineering schools, fairly well in another third, remaining responses were ineffectual. Around the same time, revisions to the IEAust accreditation requirements de-emphasised the importance of management studies, mentioning it only as a subset of ‘professional practice’. By 2004 the IEAust stage 1 competency standards for professional engineers mentioned ‘management’ in only three of 79 indicators of competency. In 2002, the IEAust established the Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management. In December 2005 CELM established a working group, “…for improving the business and management content of undergraduate courses. It appears that it’s back (about 20 years) to the future for Australian undergraduate engineering management education.
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