Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Adrian V. Gheorghe

Committee Member

Unal Resit


Managing and directing engineering requires engineering management competencies. Although perspectives may differ concerning competencies for engineering management, identifying competencies can direct and improve management. The purpose of this research is to develop a framework of competencies for engineering managers using an inductive research design. Development of this engineering management competency framework involves an exploration of three primary research questions. The first question is ‘What are the current competencies for engineering managers?’ The response to this question provides a basis for the current state of competencies for engineering managers. The second research question, ‘What are future engineering management competencies based on future perspectives and trends?’ seeks to establish the nature of engineering management competencies that project to the future. The third research question, ‘What competency framework may be generated for engineering management competencies?’ establishes a rigorously grounded framework for engineering management competencies. This framework appreciates current competencies while being tempered to competencies required. The approach to explore research questions is based in a Grounded Theory Method (GTM) (Charmaz, 2014) that builds from research literature references qualified for inclusion (Katina, 2015). Based on qualification criteria, engineering management competencies are coded following the GTM to produce a theoretical framework for engineering management competencies. Results provide a framework of competency areas and competencies necessary for engineering management. This provides a significant approach to filling gaps in the body of knowledge related to competencies for the engineering management discipline. While other works identify competencies for engineering management, current literature is fragmented, aging, and not sufficiently developed to provide adequate developmental directions for engineering management practitioners. Multiple competencies and implications are discussed in this research along with context, environment, and human factors where competencies are identified within Systems Theory and gaps. This provides a vital base that places competency areas and competencies into a cohesive and coherent framework while projecting the existing state of engineering management competencies to the future. This may include the theoretical, methodical, and practical dimensions to advance the engineering management discipline. Therefore, the competency framework development may support and unite organizations proactively while providing opportunities to operations and overall performance which extends beyond a specialized area.