Engineering status: an exploration of the professional status of chartered engineers

Lodge, Hilary (1985) Engineering status: an exploration of the professional status of chartered engineers. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School. OPEN ACCESS


The professional status of chartered engineers in Britain has been explored using a wide range of material from secondary sources, including comparative data from major surveys also utilised by Finniston (1980), substantiating and augmenting field work which included mailed questionnaires, informal interviews, participant observation and inside knowledge of the engineering institutions. The concept of profession was explored using six commonlyagreed elements of profession and the status of engineering, accountancy, architecture, church, law and medicine was compared. The imagery and historical background of the professions and the prevailing attitudes and values of society were also examined. Material on the engineers' social background, education, employment, pay and prospects was explored, making inter-occupational comparisons. An attempt was made to compare the performance of chartered and unregistered engineers and consideration of outstanding engineers, past and present, led to an exploration of engineering excellence. Whereas the established professions emerge as satisfying directly the personal and intimate needs of a dependent laity, impressed by their aura of mystery, chartered engineers, more manual and less professional in background, less independent and more narrowly technical, are typically employees, team-members working in large organisations in manufacturing and construction, having little public contact and little scope for personal achievement or acclaim. From the foregoing, not only is it evident that the occupational prestige of engineers is consistently ranked less highly than that of the doctors and lawyers with whom they compare themselves but, more importantly, since the six elements of profession are found largely absent from engineering, it is concluded that engineering is not a profession in the sense that medicine and law are so regarded, that the quest of the chartered engineers for professional status is an illusion and that a more appropriate means of enhancing their status is the pursuit of engineering excellence.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 12:23
Date of first compliant deposit: 25 Feb 2022
Subjects: Engineering industry
Professional and technical employees
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2022 17:55

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