Engineering Code of Conduct Essay
The aim of this paper is to identify the significance of leadership skills for the engineers who
perform the technical work. Additionally, it is found that university faculty organized the events
or programs for incorporating the leadership skills in the students. However, the article and book
also describe that exercise leadership is more important for the engineers as it allows to building
up the team-work and communication skills. This is quite important for the engineers to perform
the work systematically.
The objective of this paper is to identify the significance of leadership skills for the engineers. In today’s business world, leadership skills are as important as technical skills. Most of the work nowadays takes place in teams and the role of a leader is important for effective team work (Kumar and Hsiao, 2008).
In such a scenario it is imperative that some leadership skills training should be given to engineers as well as engineering leadership is essential for success in any field. It also helps engineers to plan their work, assess their resources at hand, and perform the work systematically.
Lack of efficient leadership can lead to an environment of mistrust in the employees leading to downfall of organizational performance. Five different articles and a book have been analyzed in order to understand the importance of leadership skills for engineers.
Results & Summary of Reading
In the research of Cox et al. (2010), it is identified that it is important for the faculty to incorporate the leadership skills related study in the curriculum. This is because technical competencies can only be achieved with the professional skills (example, communication and team work).
In regards to this article, survey is conducted in the Mid-western University between 12 engineering faculties. Similarly, Compton-Young et al. (2015) analyzed in the survey that engineers have experience in practicing engineering but have no experience in the professional leadership management position.
However the challenge was that most educators felt that curriculum in most institutes was very tight and inflexible and hence such courses could not be included in the curricula (Bowmann and Farr, 2009). However, efficient leadership is indeed an essential requirement to run any industry, just technical skills doesn’t suffice. Hence, now the engineering students understand the importance of leadership traits.
Incorporation of such subjects in the curriculum is a necessity now. Other than that, Jibril (2015) defined that engineering design activities are more important for the students in respect to make them learn about the leadership skills with its technical skills.
However, it is determined that the SEM (Shell Eco Marathon, an international design competition) proves to be effective for examine the leadership skills of engineers students. the competition’s experience had a significant impact on the participant’s attributes, behaviors, perceptions in terms of leadership skills.
At work, one just not has to be good at handling technical situations where core engineering skills will come in to play but also, one has to know how assess risky situations and take initiatives.
One should have the ability to make decisions in times of uncertainty and inspire to work in teams and overcome all obstacles and work with trust and loyalty in teams and lead others to achieve the organizational goals. Resourcefulness and flexibility is also required of a leader especially one who is in the engineering field.
At work, one needs to negotiate, plan and influence people aound them. These tasks require management and leadership competencies. Though these skills fall in the category of management skills, these are more of skills that are required to be efficient and successful in any profession.
If one is ambitious and aims to achieve high in one’s career, one should know how to get the best out of people for which these skills are of utmost importance to engineers. One should not only exhibit these skills but also inspire others to do the same.
The paper states that more research is required on the kind of activities that can be conducted to make students develop leadership skills. Leadership cannot be taught but has to be acquired, it is more of an exploratory study rather than passive transfer of information from educator to students. (Jibril, 2015)
Fleming and Delves (2017) presents the story of inspiring leader. This clearly indicates that leadership skills play a crucial role in all fields whether it is engineering, management and commerce’s field.
As business needs are changing, this book emphasizes humanization of leadership and giving it a personal touch. The book talks about the need for leadership development in all professionals.
In the future, it will the leaders vision and direction that will be needed to meet global demands in any engineering organization. On the other hand, Poulton et al. (2017) shows the concept of value-based leadership style.
A leader cannot influence teams unless he follows a value system and makes sure that system is imbibed in his followers as well. Values should ideally be the foundation of leadership but the challenge lies in implementing that.
Value based leadership will help an individual understand what kind of values one subscribes by and how those values influence the way one behaves and takes decisions. Values have a tremendous impact on leadership and it is vital that employees of an organization understand so.
The study talks about a incident that was took place in a South African organization where the company principle stated a value based leadership with prime emphasis on people orientation. However, the leaders failed to follow that and put more emphasis on production and output rather than how the employees were being treated which led to most employees feeling aggrieved.
This created an environment of mistrust on the management which was found out by conducting a questionnaire based survey. To counter this issue, an intervention was organized to train the leaders to lead more effectively and to change the perception of the employees about the management.
(Poulton et al.,2017) Based on this, it is identified that value-based leader proves more successful as value is the one which guides the leader behavior and allows them to perform accordingly because an accountable leader’s personal values reflect on how the leader guides its followers.
After the intervention in the organization, the value system set the tone for the organization helped the leaders achieve co-operation in the teams. So this style also helps the teacher to make engineer learn leadership skill as per their value system.
Kumar and Hsiao, 2008 state that to face 21st century challenges that engineers face, leadership has to be related to engineering education. Every engineering organization, whether big or small is in need of leaders in order to execute their projects successfully.
One of the reasons that engineers are overlooked for positions in senior management is because they lack the required skills and instead those who have done MBA are preferred as they can look into the broader picture that engineers cannot.
However, in today’s world it is demanded that engineers too should be able to achieve organizational goals. Faculty members should also alter their teaching styles in regular courses to incorporate leadership concepts (Kumar and Hsiao, 2008).
Soft skills training for improved communication, real world projects to understand the value and the challenges of team work is needed to develop these skills. They key technical skills that engineers learn during their course can be rendered ineffectual if they do not possess the required professional skills to execute the technical skills. In the long run, to run an industry of engineers what is required is leadership skills.
On the basis of above articles and book, it can be discussed that leadership skill is important and needs to be incorporated into the engineering code of conduct. However, exercising leadership can come part by practice and part by being taught about the essentials of leadership.
This is because exercising leadership focuses more on the communication and team work and it is identified that engineers require more team work and communication skills in their area of work. So, in that case leadership skills can help the engineer to become expertise in all fields including designing projects and leading the people to successfully execute them.
This can also result in the form of continuous innovation in the field of engineering. As one goes up the ladder, leadership skills become more and more important regardless of whether one is in a management position or not.
Compton-Young, L., McCauley-Bush, P., Rabelo, L., Meza, K., Ferraras, A., Rodriguez, B., Millan, A., Miranda, D. and Kelarestani, M., 2015. Engineering leadership development programs a look at what is needed and what is being done. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 43(1), pp.30-42.
Cox, M.F., Cekic, O. and Adams, S.G., 2010. Developing leadership skills of undergraduate engineering students: Perspectives from engineering faculty. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 11(3/4), p.22.
Farr J. V. and Brazil D. M. Leadership Skills Development for Engineers. Engineering Management Journal, 21(1). 2009, p.11
Fleming, K. and Delves, R., 2017. Inspiring Leadership: Becoming a Dynamic and Engaging Leader. UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Jibril, F.I., 2015. Contributions of Competition Based Complex Engineering Design Experi-ence to Leadership Development in Engineering Students. age, 26, p.1.
Poulton, C., Proches, C.N.G. and Sibanda, R., 2017. The Impact of Value Systems on the Development of Effective Leadership. International Business Management, 11(8), pp.1629-1636.
- Kumar and J. K. Hsiao., 2008 Engineers learn soft skills the hard way: Planting a seed of leadership in engineering classes, Leadership Manage, pp. 23–28