Price, Daniel (2007) A comparative review of attributes of engineers in senior management roles. [USQ Project] (Unpublished)
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[Abstract]: 1. INTRODUCTION This research project is an investigation into what skills and attributes engineers need in order to make it to senior management positions. The main focus will be on small, medium and large companies and what these companies expect of their managers. 2. BACKGROUND The low number of CEOs who hold an engineering degree has attracted attention from various groups such as the Institute of Company Directors (AICD), the Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management and Engineers Australia (EA). These groups are looking for answers as to why many engineers are not progressing to senior management roles and fulfilling their career potential. 3. OBJECTIVES - To determine what qualities and traits, both personal and technical, companies expect of their Chief Executive Officers. - To investigate why many engineers are currently overlooked as likely candidates for the position of CEO. - To investigate ways in which engineers can improve their chances at being considered for the position of CEO. 4. METHODOLOGY A survey was undertaken on senior managers and director of local, national and international companies as well as managers of external recruitment agencies. The responses were allocated into two categories – short answer and ranking. 5. ANALYSIS / FINDINGS Two methods were used to analyse the results of the surveys. - The themes of the short answer components were compared to identify any similarities or differences between the different sized companies. - Graphs were generated for the ranked component and compared for any similarities or differences. The three different sized companies expected similar skills and attributes of their leaders. Certainly the execution of their duties varies from local to national to international companies. However, there definitely exists a core set of skills and attributes which all companies expect of their leaders. Some of these can be taught theoretically, others require practical training. 6. CONCLUSIONS There are a set of skills and attributes which are expected of senior managers. Possessing these would help facilitate one’s promotion to the senior ranks of any size company.
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