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Educating for innovation and management: the engineering educators' dilemma

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1 Author(s)
Steiner, C.J. ; Dept. of Marketing, Monash Univ., Clayton, Vic., Australia

Research on ways to improve engineering education has identified management and innovation skills as important to success in an engineering career. This paper explores the nature of those management and innovation skills through presentation of some original research on a community of innovative engineers and managers and some published research on personality differences between engineers, managers, and entrepreneurial innovators. This paper suggests the key to producing engineering graduates with a penchant for managing and innovating lies in developing a special kind of individuality (authenticity) in engineers toward the end of their tertiary studies. It suggests this individuality involves the courage to break with one's engineering paradigm as required and to operate pragmatically and “unscientifically” in the “public world” rather than theoretically and “scientifically” in the “special world” of engineering. It outlines an optional new curriculum for engineers and scientists developed by an Australian university to encourage authenticity and to prepare science and engineering graduates for careers in management and innovation

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 1 )