Sample E32 from E.J.Tangerman, "Which Way Up...Technical or Management?" Product Engineering, 32:33 (August 14, 1961), 31-34 Used by permission0010-2030 A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,052 words 1,164 (56.7%) quotes 16 symbols 1 formulaE32

E.J.Tangerman, "Which Way Up...Technical or Management?" Product Engineering, 32:33 (August 14, 1961), 31-34 Used by permission0010-2030

Typographical Error: egnieers [1770]Note: High proportion of material quoted is answers to questionnaire

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Throughout history , the man who showed superior performance has become the commander of others -- for good or bad . Since the Industrial Revolution , when factories emerged , this classical pattern has been followed . Until recently .

There have always been tales of disillusionment -- the competent technician who became an administrator , willingly or not , and found he didn't like it ; ; the scientist who rebelled against the personnel and paper work ; ; and much more commonly in recent years , the engineer who found that other duties interfered with -- or eliminated -- his engineering contributions . There have been many extremely competent men who have been converted into very incompetent managers or submerged in paper work , to their own and the public's dissatisfaction and loss .

This has been more evident since our products have incorporated astronomically increased technology . The remedies have been many and varied -- attempts to teach management techniques -- either in plant , at special schools , or in university `` crash '' courses -- provision of management-trained assistants or associates . But the realization has been growing that these are not the complete answer . Some men have no talent for or interest in management ; ; forcing them into management can only create trouble . The old shop adage still holds : `` A good mechanic is usually a bad boss '' .

Yet our economy clings inexorably to recognition of managerial status as the gage of success . Labor fights to change its collar from blue to white . All grades of management seek more resounding titles and incomes because of social pressures . As several recent books have over-emphasized , we have become the most status-conscious nation in the world .

What can be done for the `` individual contributor '' who is extremely important -- and likely to be more so -- in the operation of the technically oriented company ? ? He is usually conscious of the social pressures at home and outside ; ; usually concerned about America's belief that attainment and success are measured in dollars and titles . Yet titles are traditionally given only to management men , and income tends to rise with title .

Even the college professor in America has been affected . It is , as one engineer says , `` indeed a difficult thing for the engineer to accept that he can go as far on his technical merit as he could employing managerial skills . This difficulty arises even though we can give examples of men who have actually followed this course . This leads one to conclude , as you have , that there is inevitably more prestige in a management position in the minds of our people '' .

Nobody should be more able to answer the questions on this score than engineering vice-presidents and chief engineers . So we asked such men in major companies in the design field to offer their opinions on the `` dual-road-up '' problem -- and more importantly -- their solutions . In the paragraphs that follow , we quote from 32 men who are identified on the final page .

First : what title , what setup ? ?

Among the more familiar plans for dual-channel advancement is that of General Electric . This is not a mutually exclusive plan ; ; there is no one point in a man's career at which he must select either the technical or the managerial path upward . Further , the management path does not open the door to higher opportunities than are offered by the more technical path . It is common to shift back and forth , working up through a number of supervisory and individual-contributor positions .

Actually , there are a number of individual-contributor positions in both operating departments and in the company-wide `` services '' operation that are filled by men with successful managerial experience who are currently broadening their capabilities .

Also , moving into a managerial position does not necessarily end a man's recognition as a technical expert . As examples at GE : Glen B. Warren , formerly manager of the Turbine Division , widely recognized as a turbine designer . The late W. R. G. Baker , a pioneer in television design and long-time vp & gm of the Electronics Division , and later , by his own choice , an individual consultant . Harold E. Strang , expert in switchgear design , for a long period vp & gm of the Measurements & Industrial Products Division , and who currently , approaching retirement , is vice-president and consulting engineer in the Switchgear & Control Division .

In the GE plan , a number of individual contributors have positions and compensation higher than those of many managers . These positions carry such titles as :

Consultant , Advanced Development

Consulting Engineer ,

Consulting Engineer , Heat Transfer

Consulting Electrical Engineer ,

Senior Electrical Engineer ,

Senior Physicist .

Westinghouse has a similar system , with two classifications representing various levels of competence on the strictly technical side : consulting engineer or scientist , as the case may be , and advisory engineer or scientist . Many companies have systems , particularly in R & D , which work more or less well , depending upon size and actual belief in the policy on the part of administration , as will be abundantly apparent in subsequent quotations .

Another factor that may hold hope is for parallel recognition is , as one man says it : `` that the fad for educating top people along managerial lines is yielding to the technically trained approach '' . Senior staff engineer ? ?

One company instituted , early in 1959 , a vertical classification system consisting of four levels . There is no formal equivalence to the supervisory ranks ; ; the top non-supervisory level , senior staff engineer , enjoys status and pay ranging up to that for the second level of engineering supervision . The second level , senior engineer , rates slightly below first-level supervision . The expectation is that first-level supervisors will be selected in approximately equal numbers from the second and third engineering level , with very few coming from the first level .

The company expects to extend upward both compensation and status for non-supervisory engineers , but probably not into executive levels . In this organization , about half of the engineers with 15 or more years of employment are in supervision , engineering or elsewhere . This reflects the very heavy engineering content of the products -- which are not military . Several other examples : central and satellite `` We have over 20 divisions -- each of which has an engineering department headed by a chief engineer . We have set up a central R & D department , as well as engineering-management departments -- about 80 people working on problems related to those of our plants . A separate research department is , of course , confined to new or future designs . Part of this headquarters staff , however , are engineering managers who work between divisional chief engineers and headquarters management . These headquarters engineers , headed by the vice-president -- Engineering , counsel and advise divisional managers and chief engineers on product problems as well as aid with design ; ; and many are engineers who have been advanced from the divisions . These men are considered managers of engineers . They must learn to wear several hats , so to speak , working with management , sales and engineering problems related to the product .

`` We do not have people in our organization termed ' consultants ' or ' fellows ' , who are specialists in one particular technical subject . I suppose it is because we are just not big enough . We have a few ' consultants ' -- retired engineers retained and called in on certain problems . The only ' fellows ' in our company are those who have been honored by ASME , AIEE or AIChE . I am sure that the engineer who enters management is nearly always opening the door to greater possibilities than he would have as a technical specialist -- because of his wider accountability '' . Another structure `` We have tried to make both paths attractive , so that good men could find opportunity and satisfaction in either . One way to formalize this is in the job structure . We have these positions , which compare directly : Af

`` Above these jobs we have chief engineer for the company and vice-president of Engrg , R & Aj . The latter jobs include major management responsibilities and have been filled by those who have come up primarily through the engineering-management side . We have not yet succeeded in establishing recognition of technical specialization comparable to our higher levels of management , but I believe we will trend in this direction but not to exceed vice-president '' . Top job : research scientist `` . Approximately four years ago , we initiated a dual ladder of advancement for technical persons . The highest position is known as a ' research scientist . This approach has not been entirely satisfactory . The primary deterrent appears to lie with the technical people themselves , and their concept of what constitutes status in present-day society . Scientists who agitate hardest for technical recognition are often the most reluctant to accept it . We have discovered that the outward trappings such as private offices and private secretaries are extremely important ; ; and although we have attempted to provide these status symbols , support of the ' dual-ladder ' plan has been half-hearted despite the creation of a salary potential for a research scientist commensurate with that of men in top managerial positions .

`` A serious problem accompanying the technical-ladder approach is the difficulty of clearly defining responsibilities and standards of performance for each level . With no set standards , there is the tendency to promote to the next highest level when the top of a salary band is reached regardless of performance . Promotion is too often based on longevity and time in salary grade instead of merit . If no specific organization plan exists limiting the number of scientists at each salary level , the result is a department top-heavy with high-level , high-salaried personnel '' . Staff engineer dept. manager `` We have two approaches for the technical man : the position of staff engineer , which is rated as high in salary as department manager ; ; and an administrative organization to take the routine load away from department managers and project engineers as much as possible , thus allowing them more time for strictly technical work . These are only halfway measures , and the answer will come when some way is found to allow the technical man in industry to progress without limit in salary and prestige '' . A complete plan `` We have made limited application of the ' parallel ladder ' plan . The highest rated non-supervisory engineering title is ' research engineer . The salary schedule permits remuneration greater than the average paid to the first level of engineering supervision ( engineering section head ) . We also have an ' engineering section head -- research engineer ' classification which has salary possibilities equivalent to that of a research engineer . Above this point there is no generally used parallel ladder .

`` We also do a number of things to build up the prestige of the engineer as a ' professional ' and also to give public recognition to individual technical competence . These include encouragement of , and assistance to , the engineer in preparation and publication of technical papers . We have two media for publicizing individual technical activity , a magazine widely distributed both within and without the company , and an information bulletin for engineering personnel distributed to the homes of all engineers . Publicity is given to the award of patents to our engineers and financial support is provided for individual membership in technical societies .

`` A recent , and more pertinent action , has been the establishment of a technical staff reporting to the vice-president for Engineering . This function is staffed by engineers chosen for their technical competence and who have the title , member of the technical staff . Salaries compare favorably with those paid to the first two or three levels of management . Additional symbols of status are granted , such as reserved parking , distinctive badge passes authorizing special privileges , and a difference in the treatment of financial progress through merit .

`` We presently are involved in inaugurating a new development center . Operations of this nature offer the best opportunity to recognize scientific status . All scientific staff members will have the title , ' research-staff member . The salary level of an individual within the group will reflect the scientific community's acceptance of him as an authority in his scientific field . Contrary to usual organization-position evaluations , the position to which research-staff members report administratively will not necessarily encompass the duties of the research-staff member , therefore , are not necessarily evaluated as highly .

`` These recent steps do not offer the possibility of extension to the great number of senior engineers who have displayed technical competence . It is doubtful that the complete solution to the over-all problem can result entirely from company efforts . Fundamental to the difficulty of creating the desired prestige is the fact that , in the business community , prestige and status are conferred in proportion to the authority that one man has over others and the extent of which he participates in the management functions '' .