صفات شخصیتی کلیدی مهندسان برای توسعه نوآوری و فن آوری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2388||2013||12 صفحه PDF||22 صفحه WORD|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Volume 30, Issue 2, April–June 2013, Pages 157–168
تلویحاتی برای مدیریت مهندسی
محدودیت های مطالعه
Focusing on new roles of engineers for technological innovation and internal entrepreneurship, we examined the personality traits of 4876 engineers versus 75,892 non-engineers. Engineers scored higher on Tough-Mindedness and Intrinsic Motivation; but lower on Assertiveness, Conscientiousness, Customer Service Orientation, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, Image Management, Optimism, Visionary Style, and Work Drive. All but four of these traits were positively related to engineers’ career satisfaction. Overall, the results are not encouraging for the new roles of engineers such as intrapreneurship. Findings were discussed in terms of occupational profiling of engineers as well as career planning, selection, training, and professional development of engineers.
In today's fiercely competitive, global marketplace—with its emphasis on rapid, continuous innovation and need for ongoing adaptation to an increasingly complex world—the human resource capital configuration of companies is undergoing corresponding dramatic changes (Geisler and Wickramasinghe, 2009). Among these are demands for engineers to play more consequential roles in all phases of the innovation process in global corporations. Such roles require knowledge, skills, and personal traits which go well beyond those found in standard taxonomies such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and its successor, O*NET (2012) or Occupational Network—an online occupational database comprising a mix of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other personal traits for a wide range of occupations. Menzel et al. (2007) contend that engineers must function more entrepreneurially in their companies, in an intrapreneur role. In their view, the core competences of intrapreneurs include a number of new qualities not found in traditional engineering job descriptions, such as embracing revolutionary change, teaming with other disciplines, visionary thinking style, flexible problem-solving, risk-taking, and comfort with uncertainty. Similarly, as idea innovators working in new product development settings, engineers would be expected to possess curiosity, self-motivation, intuition, emotion management, self-awareness, and creativity (Amabile and Gryskiewicz, 1988). In a similar vein, Uljin et al. (2007) propose that engineers engaged in new product development and innovation diffusion should have competencies in people skills, social networking, team facilitation, risk management, and customer responsiveness, among others. Then, too, as noted by Davis (1999), successful technological innovation requires a unique combination of not only entrepreneurial competences at the level of the individual contributor, but also corresponding managerial skills. Engineering managers who function in an intrapreneur capacity will need the attributes outlined above. They will also need to identify, motivate, influence, and guide the innovation-related behavior of engineers so as to facilitate overall corporate innovation and competitiveness. From a broader perspective, there is an emerging and strongly held consensus among national policy analysts that the future prosperity and security of the United States is imperiled by the eroding human resource capital in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (National Science Foundation, 2012). Among the critical areas for improving the education and training of engineers to compete in the global marketplace and function in international settings are the new roles and soft skills noted above as well as open-mindedness, cross-cultural sensitivity, social awareness, and emotional intelligence (Del Vitto, 2008). Some companies have successfully integrated intrapreneurial roles with other innovative strategies for commercial technology. For example, 3M jointly promotes entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship as part of new venture teams, intra-company technology exchange, and customer driven innovation to help foster the commercialization of technology in its electronic business (Conceicao et al., 2002). In smaller firms, the intrapreneur role may have to be combined with other roles, such as lead manager or founder, to facilitate the development of new products and services to expand profit (Camelo-Ordaz et al., 2012). In larger organizations, the intrapreneur role is often adopted by middle management and by ad hoc positions designated by the company to develop new business ventures in the existing organization (Roupas, 2008). While there is a nascent conceptual literature on characteristics of engineers purported to be important for successful intrapreneurship and new technology innovation, there is a dearth of empirical research bearing on these issues. As noted by Davis (1999), we do not know whether any of the proposed attributes are necessarily descriptive of, say, intrapreneurial engineers. At the present juncture, one important question to ask is what are the key personal attributes of engineers at the beginning of the 21st century? Two other important, related questions are: do these attributes differ from the ones portrayed in extant occupational taxonomies like O*NET, and how do they correspond to the new roles engineers will be expected to adopt—such as intrapreneurship, technology change advocate, and innovation co-facilitator? To address these questions, our focus in the present study is on one key attribute of engineers—their personality traits. There are five main reasons for choosing personality traits as our unit of analysis. First, personality traits are recognized as one of the main components to be considered in any job analysis or job description, which are referenced by the commonplace acronym KSAO, or Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and “Other” personal characteristics, with personality traits typically representing the other personal characteristic of job incumbents (cf. Muchinsky, 2012). O*NET (2012), for example, lists personality traits as well as key areas of knowledge, skills, and educational requirements for all occupations listed. Second, personality traits can be assessed in a reliable, standardized manner such that personality trait scores can be meaningfully compared across situations, time periods, and diverse samples of people. Third, personality traits have been found in meta-analyses to be valid predictors of job performance and satisfaction for a wide range of jobs and job groups (see, e.g., Salgado, 1997 and Salgado, 2002). Fourth, personality traits are frequently used in such key organizational functions as recruitment, selection, training, development, and mentoring (Muchinsky, 2012) to enhance the caliber of a company's human resource capital. Fifth, from an evolutionary psychology perspective, personality traits have emerged and persist because they have functional value for individuals in solving problems. As Buss (1996, p. 192) noted, personality traits “represent individual differences in the qualities or resources individuals can draw upon to solve adaptive problems.” In his view, for example, an emotionally stable “person may rely on steadiness of nerves, inner resilience, and the capacity to rally from setback,” which allows the person to focus on work demands without performance being impaired by anxiety, worrying, loss of energy, etc. Similar scenarios can be constructed to show how different personality traits are related to successful job performance, job satisfaction and career success (see, e.g., Lounsbury, 2006). To examine the above questions, we drew on Holland's (1996) vocational theory, which posits that the correspondence or fit between persons and work environments on key personality characteristics leads to important vocational outcomes, including satisfaction, tenure, and performance. Holland (1996, p. 397) summarized his vocational theory as follows: “Studies show that people flourish in their work environment when there is a good fit between their personality type and the characteristics of the environment. Lack of congruence between personality and environment leads to dissatisfaction, unstable career paths, and lowered performance.”
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We found that engineers differed on all but two of 13 personality traits when compared with non-engineers. In addition, all but three of the personality traits under study were correlated significantly and positively with career satisfaction. The correlational results generally aligned quite well with and are readily interpretable by Holland's (1996) vocational fit theory. Comparisons of mean trait scores of engineers with non-engineers were less consistent with Holland's fit model and with most traditional engineering job descriptions. In particular, we were surprised by the lower Conscientiousness scores of engineers and by its lack of correlation with engineers’ career satisfaction, though such scores also could reflect higher levels of creativity and flexibility—which are advantageous for intrapreneurship and innovation (Lounsbury and Gibson, 2012). Future research is needed to resolve whether such a result reflects a move toward greater emphasis on creativity and non-routine problem-solving in engineering work rather than orderly, exacting, conscientious work on standard problems, or if it reflects a lower caliber talent pool of qualified candidates for engineering positions. In any case, the present findings underscore the challenges of finding engineers with personality traits fitting for the new roles associated with intrapreneurship and technical innovation. Successfully meeting these challenges may help allay—though by no means resolve—concerns for national competitiveness and prosperity. To do so will require the combined efforts of the public and private sectors to enhance the attributes of engineers for innovation and new technology development. From the present findings, we can present two different profiles of the key personality traits of engineers, one deriving from the mean differences between engineers and non-engineers; the other, from correlations with career satisfaction. Based on our interpretations of the meaning of each trait and compared to other occupations, engineers are more: introverted, intrinsically motivated, flexible and creative, and tough-minded/analytical. They are also less: assertive, emotionally resilient, optimistic, customer-oriented, concerned with Image Management, hard-working, and visionary in their thinking style. In addition, engineers who are more satisfied with their careers are more: assertive, customer-oriented, emotionally stable and resilient, extraverted, open to new experience, optimistic, tough-minded/analytical, teamwork-oriented, hard-working; and they are less concerned with Image Management. These profiles depict a more complex, nuanced, and empirically grounded set of personality attributes of engineers than can be found in most job descriptions and in the current primary national database on occupational information—O*NET. In summary, the current results carry manifold implications for engineering management, engineering job taxonomies, and national policy, in addition to future research in this area. Hopefully, the present findings can be utilized to improve human resources management when recruiting, selecting, placing, training, mentoring, and developing engineers for present-day jobs as well as future jobs occasioned by the ever increasing need for innovation and new product development.