The new engineer: between employability and social responsibility

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The reasons behind the demand for what is sometimes called the New Engineer are critically examined and it is argued that a focus on employability alone is not sufficient to prepare socially responsible engineers. By examining issues around work organisation and sustainability it is proposed that engineers need to understand the wider social context in which they work. It is argued that the focus of ethics education should be broadened to focus on the social structure and the way it both enables and constrains socially responsible conduct. There is a call to refocus engineers' attitudes towards the systems of regulation so they see them not only as constraints but as potential enablers supporting socially responsible engineering.

Keywords: New Engineer; agency/structure; employability; social responsibility; social sciences

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Engineering, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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