Perceptions from the trenches: Engineering management vs. MBA

Mario G. Beruvides, Matthew R. James

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


What is the difference between an engineering management graduate and a student who obtains an MBA degree? If there is no difference, then why do we teach engineering management? This issue, EM vs. MBA, has been played out in the literature, in conference presentations, and discussions amongst practitioners, researchers, and students. Some claim there is no debate. Others are confronted regularly by questions from students, practitioners, industrial advisory board members as well as others on this issue. This paper explores the perceptions of students and professors (in Engineering Management and MBA programs) as well as other stake holders as to the distinguishing characteristics between the two disciplines. An informal survey was run to decipher some of the current views. Content rich data was collected and analyzed using both traditional survey questions along with content analysis of participant responses. The results are presented and analyzed with a discussion on the implications of the results obtained. In addition, some anecdotal data is provided on the running of the project which has some value to educators. The objective of this exercise is to provide engineering management educators some insights to our profession that may not be fully known.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 ASEE Annual Conference - Milwaukee, WI, USA
Duration: Jun 15 1997Jun 18 1997

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