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Advancing medium size manufacturing enterprises through management by engineers

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Colville, Edward J.(Edward John) (1999) Advancing medium size manufacturing enterprises through management by engineers. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis sets out initially, under the headings of key departments and auxiliary functions, the principal areas of business knowledge and personal communication required to augment technology skills. The aim of this portion of the work is to provide a checklist for the development of engineers so that they can prepare themselves to embark on a career in senior management with confidence. The necessary skills are defined in terms applicable to specific departments within an enterprise rather than confine comments to a generalised statement. The first responsibility areas discussed are the board, the general manager and the key operating departments of marketing, production, finance and coordination of services. The many services, the catalysts of industry available to management, are then examined in a similar manner, primarily to provide an awareness of the contribution they can make either on a regular basis or as the need arises.
While the principal technology and applied science principles provided through an engineer's tertiary training are of major importance it is shown from the analysis of management needs that many knowledge areas and a broader understanding of other professional skills are necessary additions to an engineer's background if he/she is to manage successfully. This is not to underestimate the logic training and an understanding of the scientific principles, mathematics and designs associated with management techniques which have already been acquired by engineers. However business knowledge is also a key ingredient for a manager, and when combined with a knowledge of the technology of an enterprise, can provide excellent management. A greater accent on people and finance in addition to preoccupation with "things", may have to be cultivated by engineers to be effective managers in industry and commerce. It can be seen from the summary of the departmental planning and communication needs that the major importance of overall planning, policy making and motivation to promote and implement action are clearly at the heart of the business management required. A method of tackling these needs is presented involving the preparation of budgets and encouragement of participation by all those responsible for their implementation throughout an organisation.
The development of the "Budget Support" system designed to meet this need is described and its basis presented by the author. The course of the team research and development which has resulted in its current user friendly form is explained. Case studies follow showing the part the budget simulation of the total financial affairs of a company has played over thirty years of changing industrial climate. The program has enabled a manufacturing and service company to be managed economically by producing staff cohesion, cost standards and the integration of its affairs through its master planning capability. The application of the simulation to feasibility studies to determine which direction a whole business should take has been demonstrated. In addition as a business training procedure it has enabled many engineering students both undergraduate and post graduate to learn of the interacting facets of a manufacturing organisation. During this time the author has occupied the roles of technical manager, administrative and general manager, company director and management consultant as well as a tertiary engineering educator allied to the development of the simulation.
In conclusion strengthening the potential of engineers to manage businesses is advocated and recommendations made as to how this can be expedited. A greater emphasis on combining business knowledge with technical skill through management by engineers will benefit Australian manufacturing industry and enhance the career opportunities of many engineers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Engineering
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1999 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

CD-ROM and booklet in back pocket. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 00:59
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 02:27
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