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Executive Summary and Beyond Us and Them.

Long, Graham. (1999) Executive Summary and Beyond Us and Them. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The engineering profession throughout the western world appears to be undergoing an identity crisis resulting from profound changes in the perceived role and prestige of engineers in society. Beder (1998) points out that the status and public image of engineering is declining; engineers are increasingly being passed over for management positions; they are being used by governments and developers to legitimise and promote questionable projects; they are being sued for accidents they believe they were not responsible for. Self-help organisations are increasingly questioning the right of engineering organisations to conduct their business in the private and opaque manner of the past, and often exercise their growing political power in direct ways. Many perspectives have been offered in the engineering and sociological literature on how this situation has come about and what should be done to ameliorate it. However, most approaches attempt to address symptoms only from the perspective of engineering, without investigating their significance as part of the broader changes occurring in society as a whole. This work examines the roots of the present problems of engineering from the broadest possible view, putting the changing role of engineering in society into wider historical perspective. Using the framework of Anthony Giddens’ social theory, engineering is considered as part of the society it aims to serve, subjected to the same driving forces, uncertainty and dynamism that defines modernity in its present form. By understanding this dynamism at an abstract, holistic level, it is possible to interpret more usefully the specific problems and opportunities currently facing engineering, and to make specific proposals regarding the future direction of the profession. This theoretical work is subsequently examined in the light of five case studies from the author’s experience of a major engineering consultancy company.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Long, Graham.
Date : 1999
Additional Information : Thesis (Eng.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1999.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 12:15
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 12:21
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/855862

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