People and Organizations

Individual engineers and scientists are keys to technological innovation. Their contributions depend on how their organizations are organized and managed. Dramatic changes are affecting the technical workforce and the organizations in which engineer and scientists work. For example, technical organizations are undergoing major transformations as they strive to become more competitive by bringing new products to market more rapidly and efficiently, by listening to their customers more closely, and by funding technical organizations more from business unit resources and less from corporate funds. Technology now comes from a variety of sources, only some of which are within the organization itself. Strategic partnerships are becoming a way of life for many companies, and technology is managed on a global basis. People are working more in teams, many of which are cross-functional, and many of which are “virtual” and not co-located. The composition of the technical work force is more diverse than before. The nature of technical careers is changing, as less emphasis is placed on company loyalty and technical staff are actively recruited by other companies. In short, a new reality confronts scientists, engineers, and their managers.

This department seeks contributions that increase our understanding of the management of scientists, engineers, technical teams, and technical organizations located anywhere in the world. Studies that directly address this new reality are especially welcome, but studies that deal with traditional topics in the current context are sought as well. Illustrative topics include:

  • Motivation
  • Supervision
  • Reward and recognition systems for individuals and teams
  • Career development
  • Technical obsolescence
  • Retention and turnover
  • Organization design
  • Technical communications
  • Effective teams for developing new technology
  • Virtual teams
  • Entrepreneurship within large corporations and in new start-ups
  • Management of interdepartmental interfaces
  • Technical leadership in organizations
  • Stimulation of creativity
  • Managing knowledge
  • Global management of technology
  • Organizational culture
  • Management of partnerships and joint ventures
  • Management of organizational change

Papers should extend current knowledge via new empirical results or creative integration and theoretical extensions of the literature. All papers should discuss implications for engineering management practice. Quantitative and qualitative studies are both welcome: both must clearly support their conclusions through rigorous analysis. Case studies will also be considered if they deal with especially interesting situations, report results that apply beyond the particular situation being studied, and clearly connect to the relevant literature.