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A curriculum to enhance decision-making skills of technical personnel working in teams

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Rapidly changing engineering designs and business scenarios make it essential for engineers and technical personnel to be trained to be effective team players and project managers. This paper reports the experiences gained in developing and implementing a workshop to train engineers at a steel manufacturing plant. The objective of the workshop was to foster team-working skills among the participants and to improve the decision-making skills of these engineers so that they could be groomed to take over project management responsibilities. In order to achieve these objectives, a curriculum consisting of personality identification, lectures on engineering and management topics, hands-on exercises using multimedia case studies and feedback sessions was developed. In this paper, the details of developing, implementing and evaluating the curriculum in two three-day workshops are discussed. The qualitative and quantitative evaluation results indicate that the objectives were achieved very well and the curriculum has the potential to help engineers and technical personnel improve their decision-making skills, thereby preparing them to solve the complex technical problems that they will face in their professional lives.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Mechanical Engineering Auburn University Auburn AL 36849 USA 2: Department of Management Auburn University Auburn AL 36849 USA

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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