Engineers, management and work organization: A comparative analysis of engineers' work roles in British and Japanese electronics firms

Lam, A. (1996) Engineers, management and work organization: A comparative analysis of engineers' work roles in British and Japanese electronics firms. Journal of Management Studies, 33 (2). pp. 183-212. ISSN 0022-2380. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

The full text of this publication is not available from this repository. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

Many commentators have attributed the poor performance of British manufacturing to the 'under-representation' of engineers in management, and have proposed policies for bringing more engineers into management so as to develop a technologically oriented management culture. This paper argues that the under-representation of engineers in management is a symptom not the root cause of the problem, which lies in the split between technical and managerial expertise at the enterprise level. Based on a comparative analysis of engineers' work roles and the relationship between technical and managerial functions in British and Japanese electronics firms, the paper argues that the mechanistically structured organization systems in the British firms generate a vertical polarization between technical and managerial roles, inhibit knowledge sharing and lead to the press under-utilization of engineers in product development. A technologically oriented management cannot simply be achieved by getting more engineers into management. It requires, instead, organizational restructuring and changes in work practices to enable a better integration between technical and managerial expertise.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics > HA33 Management Science
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: R.F. Xu
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2009 16:16
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2009 16:16
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/19291 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):