Document Type

Book Chapter


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Publication Details

This article is a last, or near-last, version of a chapter that has been published as: Murphy M., O’Donnell P., Jameson J. (2019) Business in Engineering Education: Issues, Identities, Hybrids, and Limits. In: Christensen S., Delahousse B., Didier C., Meganck M., Murphy M. (eds) The Engineering-Business Nexus. Philosophy of Engineering and Technology, vol 32. Springer


This chapter explores how engineering students are broadened in their education through the teaching of non-engineering subjects, such as business subjects, in order to develop critical thinking skills and self-knowledge of what it means to be an engineer. The goal of the chapter is to provide a commentary on the level of interaction, from design of courses to design of curricula, between business faculty and engineering faculty, and the results of that interaction. This chapter sets out to (i) explore whether there appears to be a place in engineering education curricula for reflective critique of assumptions related to business thinking, and why; (ii) discover what kinds of business issues are reflected in engineering education curricula, and for what purpose; (iii) explore the degree of business hybridization in engineering degree programs; (iv) ask who teaches business issues within engineering education? To this end a taxonomy of engineering enlightenment is proposed, and this is used to discuss evidence of broadening with engineering curricula. The approach adopted is to describe all relevant engineering degree programs in Ireland, based on their publicly available program information; examine the accreditation reports for these same programs; and then survey deans from colleges or schools of business to examine whether the business college/school is involved in the education of engineering students in the institution or university. If yes, how the business college or relevant business faculty are engaged in the design of engineering curricula. In order to enable a comparative discussion, the chapter will focus on Irish engineering programs that seek accreditation from Engineers Ireland for professional engineering. A number of hybrid engineering programs of study are also explored, and their apparent strengths discussed, including hybridity limits.