ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Hedy E. Sladovich, Editor

Papers presented during the 1990 meeting of the National Academy of Engineering in a symposium dedicated to the memory of J. Herbert Hollomon

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C. 1991



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Hedy E. Sladovich, Editor Papers presented during the 1990 meeting of the National Academy of Engineering in a symposium dedicated to the memory of J. Herbert Hollomon NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20418 The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. This volume consists of papers and speakers' remarks presented at a symposium entitled “Engineering as a Social Enterprise” during the Twenty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Engineering, 3 October 1990, in Washington, D.C. The interpretations and conclusions expressed in these papers are those of the authors and are not presented as the views of the council, officers, or staff of the National Academy of Engineering. Library of Congress Card No. 91-61730 International Standard Book No. 0-309-04431-6 Additional copies of this publication are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 S-277 Cover: Römischer Aquädukt. Painting by Prof. Zeno Diemer. Courtesy of the Deutsches Museum, Munich. Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Planning Committee Walter G. Vincenti (Symposium Chairman) Professor Emeritus of Aeronautics and Astronautics Stanford University Gerald Nadler IBM Professor of Engineering Management Professor and Chairman of Industrial and Systems Engineering University of Southern California Walter A. Rosenblith Institute Professor, Emeritus Massachusetts Institute of Technology Rustum Roy Evan Pugh Professor of the Solid State Materials Research Laboratory Pennsylvania State University Edward Wenk, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Engineering, Public Affairs, and Social Management of Technology University of Washington

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Preface Engineering is not often thought of as a social enterprise. But in fact social needs and pressures shape what engineers do as much as engineering and technology shape the nature of society. This volume is intended to illuminate some of the ways in which engineers and those they serve—individuals as well as society—must come to understand each other better. People like J. Herbert Hollomon, a founding member of our Academy, understood such relationships well. He grasped the sociotechnical implications of his time and beyond and acted on his beliefs both as an engineer and as a national leader toward that end. His views on engineering's great challenges presented in 1960 retain much of their relevance and validity today (see appendix for his remarks before a joint meeting of regional engineering groups commemorating National Engineers Week, Schenectady, New York, February 23, 1960). We dedicate this volume of essays, based on presentations given at the 1990 annual meeting symposium “Engineering as a Social Enterprise,” to the memory of J. Herbert Hollomon. The symposium marked the close of the 25th anniversary year celebration of the Academy and the establishment of the J. Herbert Hollomon Fellowship, endowed in part through the generous support of the J. Herbert Hollomon Memorial Committee. This fellowship enables the NAE to invite a young person to work at the Academy on policy issues involving significant elements of engineering and technology. The essays in this volume are based on the proposition that many forces move and shape engineering, technology, culture, and society. They include perspectives on the engineering response to social needs as well as to social forces. There are historical accounts of the relationship between engineering and

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE society, probing examinations of the social forces that determine the engineering agenda, and views on the implications of these forces for the present and future engineering enterprise that reflects, for the most part, the American experience. Several aspects of the sociotechnical system emerge: the goals and aspirations of individuals as distinct from those of institutions, companies, nations, regions, societies, and the interrelationships between them that operate on many levels and vastly different scales of time and space. These relationships are never static, and engineers and engineering constantly face the challenge of serving both ends of this huge spectrum. Also, the ongoing nature of this change is rapid and complex: interconnections are multiplying exponentially, and the process of social accommodation faces greater and more pervasive tensions. This sometimes results in fast-moving and false directives for technological innovation, as well as constraints on the adoption of new technology by slowly evolving social constructs for adapting and coping with the potential consequences. Much as engineering achievements reflect the practical use of new knowledge manifested in man-made devices, so they also mirror the evolution and interrelation of engineering, technology, and society. The diversity of made-things is astonishing and goes well beyond necessity and utility alone. They form the visible tip of an iceberg that is the whole sociotechnical system and its processes. Many people were involved in the preparation of this volume. I would like to thank the symposium speakers for their thoughtful presentations and the symposium planning committee and its chairman Walter Vincenti for their many valuable contributions both in organizing the symposium and in shaping this publication. Special thanks go to Daniel Roos of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the J. Herbert Hollomon memorial committee for the means to dedicate this symposium to the memory of J. Herbert Hollomon, and Roland Schmitt and Harvey Brooks for their personal remembrances. As the concluding event in the Academy 's 25th anniversary year celebration, the symposium was planned with the oversight of the 25th Anniversary Advisory Committee and additional guidance from the Academy's Advisory Committee on Technology and Society. I also want to recognize Christopher Hill for his comments on the manuscript before publication and members of the NAE Program Office staff under the direction of Bruce R. Guile, including Hedy E. Sladovich, H. Dale Langford, Annmarie Terraciano, and Mary J. Ball, for organizing the symposium and preparing the essays for publication. ROBERT M. WHITE President National Academy of Engineering

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Contents     Introduction Walter G. Vincenti   1  1.   SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVES        From Deterministic Dynamos to Seamless-Web Systems Thomas P. Hughes   7       Cultural and Sociotechnical Values Robert McC. Adams   26  2.   ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES        Business, Consumers, and Society-at-Large: New Demands and Expectations Marina v.N. Whitman   41      Technology and Government John W. Fairclough   58

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE  3.   PRACTITIONERS' PERSPECTIVES        The Social Function of Engineering: A Current Assessment George Bugliarello   73      Pondering the Unpredictability of the Sociotechnical System Robert W. Lucky   89     APPENDIXES        Tribute to J. Herbert Hollomon Roland W. Schmitt   101      Engineering's Great Challenge—The 1960s J. Herbert Hollomon   104      Contributors   111

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

OCR for page R1
ENGINEERING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE This page in the original is blank.