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Appendixes

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APPENDIX A Pilot Study for a Survey of Policymakers' Attitudes Toward Continuing Education The panel decided to investigate the attitudes of corporate policy- makers whose companies had developed and implemented relatively large-scale continuing education programs. Because a large survey was beyond the scope of this project, the panel instead sampled 20 compa- nies in a pilot study. The interview guidelines that were developed for this effort appear below in four "documents": 1. Information for Interviewers: Pilot Interview Protocol, 2. Pilot Interview Protocol, 3. Debriefing Questions for Interviewers, 4. Information for Policymakers Who agree to participate), and 5. The Pilot Survey of CEO Values Questions and Answers. See Chapter 3 for a discussion of the study's results. Document 1: Information for Interviewers- Pilot Interview Protocol This is a pilot protocol for interviewing policymakers about their values and attitudes pertinent to continuing education. The questions it contains are based on discussions of the National Research Council's Panel on Continuing Education and the Committee on Education and Utilization of Engineers. The Panel's interest lies in field testing the protocol to determine if a formal survey of values is feasible and will yield useful information. 75

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uses. 76 APPENDIX A A. The General Rationale andiApproach The main reason for considering a survey is that very little formal research has been done to assess values of CEOs and other policy- makers on continuing education for engineers. The Panel believes that it is important to understand values and attitudes at the highest possi- ble level of the organization. This pilot protocol is a first step in under- standing how to produce unique helpful information that will augment other data on the topic. The pilot study and this protocol are based on some working prem Continuing education here refers to formal courses of study of tech- nical or nontechnical material, undertaken by the graduate engineer, to produce some benefit for the company. The course of study may be external to the company or offered in-house. The target for interviews are chief executive officers or an executive with primary responsibility for policy and resources bearing on career development of engineers. It is especially important to the Panel that this level of general ~nanagement, as opposed to human resources staff, be addressed. B. The Interviewers ' Role In the Pilot Test The survey is a pilot in the sense that if information generated in a small survey is useful and helps to understand values in this arena, then a larger formal survey may be undertaken. The interview protocol and procedure will be revised in several respects on the basis of the experi- ence of interviewers in this pilot study. The interviewers' experience in using this protocol is critical. Suggestions about how questions may be sensibly improved, deleted, or augmented are of course welcome. And to facilitate the process, a set of "Questions for Interviewers" is attached. These debriefing questions for the pilot study can be addressed by phone or in writing, depending on the interviewer's preferences. The information being requested in the protocol is not especially sensitive. Nonetheless, individual responses are treated as confidential by the National Research Council and will not be disclosed in identifi- able form. The responses will be summarized in statistical form for analysis.

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APPENDIX A C. Rationale for the Questions 77 The protocol involves some "scripting," i.e., an introduction, for each group of questions. Interviewers should modify the script to suit their needs. Items 1-4 are background questions. Item 4 is predicated on the idea that the CEO'S values about education stem partly from professional experience. Items 5 and 6 address the issue of how technical change and human resources development are recognized explicitly in policy and plan- ning, on the assumption that such recognition is important at times. Items 7 and 8 focus on the CEO'S concerns about technical obsoles- cence/currency of company engineers and his or her views of how important currency is in influencing company productivity. Items 9-11 ask for the CEO'S views on whether andhow continuing education can influence companyproductivity, competitive position, an c] capacity to innovate. Items 12-14 ask for CEO views on the company's role {versus the individual's role) in career development of the engineer. Document 2: A. Background 1. Name of Organization* Pilot Interview Protocol Title of CEO or Policymaker Interviewed 2. Name and Title of Interviewer 3a. Number of years policymaker in his/her position 3b. Number of years policymaker with this company The early primary professional experience and training of poli- cymakers at times shapes views of how professional skills are developed or maintained. 4. What, in your early professional experience or training, may shape your views on the topic? * Note: Items l-3 may be completed by the interviewer.

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78 B. Long-Range Planning APPENDIX A Some companies' long-range plans focus special attention on technical change and on the role of continuing education in change. Others do not.The Panel's interest lies in understanding your views of the value of recognizing change and continuing . . . . . ec .ucatlon in strategic p annmg. 5. In particular, how are technical change and technical issues rec- ognized generally in the company's long-range planning process? For example, are such issues ranked high in planning relative to, say, marketing or administration? Are they formally recognized in priority-setting, agenda, committees, and other aspects of planning? 6. Is continuing education of engineers for technological change incorporated into long-range planning? If so, how? Explain: C. Engineers and Their Expertise A variety of studies on technical obsolescence of engineers have been issued by universities such as MIT and by national commissions. Most maintain that obsolescence is a problem because of the rapid rate of technical and scientific innovation. Some do not. 7. How would you assess your concern with technical currency of the company's engineers? Explain:

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APPENDIX A 79 If you have to summarize the level of your concern with currency of engineers' technical expertise on a scale from 1 to 5, how would you rate it? 1 2 3 4 5 Not a Concern Very Concerned 8. To what extent do you believe that the productivity of the com- pany's engineers depends on their technical currency? Explain: If you had to summarize your belief about the claim that engi- neers' productivity depends heavily on technical currency on a scale from 1 to 5, how would you rate it? 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 9. Strongly Agree D. The Company and Engineers ' Continuing Education A company's productivity, competitive position, and capacity to innovate at times may be influenced by the continuing educa- tion of its engineers. But little is known about CEO, EVP, and other executives' views about this. The Panel would benefit from your views of each of the three issues. To what extent do you believe that the company productivity can be increased through continuing education of its engineers? Explain: If you had! to summarize the strength of your belief, very roughly on a scale from 1 to 5, how would you rate it? 1 2 3 4 5 Prefer not Do not believe Believe to rate this at all it strongly

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80 APPENDIX A 10. To what extent do you believe that the company's competitive position can be influenced through continuing education of its engineers? Explain: If you had to summarize the strength of your belief very roughly on a scale from 1 to 5, how would you rate it? 2 3 4 Do not believe 5 Prefer not Believe it to rate To what extent do you believe the company's capacity to inno- vate can be influenced through continuing education of its engi- neers? Explain: If you had to summarize the strength of your belief very roughly on a scale from 1 to 5, how would you rate it? 1 2 3 4 5 Do not believe this at all E. CareerPaths Prefer not Believe it to rate- strongly Career paths of engineers vary a great deal from one company to another and within companies, of course. The company's role in structuring career paths in each varies, too. The Panel is inter- ested in understanding your views about both career paths and the company's role in that path. 12. Is it sensible to characterize "typical career paths for engineers" in the company? If so, how would you characterize the typical paths? If not, why not?

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APPENDIX A Explain: 81 13a. What role does the company now play in managing career paths of its engineers? For example, is this left primarily to the individual or does the company take an active role? Explain: 13b. Do you envision any change in this role, in view of your own judgments about change in the industry more generally? Explain: 14. What is your view about the incentives for company engineers to continue their education? For example, do you place a high value on incentives created by the company? Are other sources of incen- tives valuable? Explain: 15. Are there in your judgment other important issues bearing on company values and policy that we have not considered? If so, what are those issues? Why are they important? How are they related to assuring technical health of the company and technical currency of engineers?

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82 Document 3: Debriefing Questions for Interviewers ~ . How much time did the interview take? APPENDIX A 2. Were any special difficulties encountered in settingup the interview and conducting it? 3. Can the background "Information for Interviewers" be made more helpful for interviewers? How? 4. Can any of the questions be improved? Which ones? How? 5. Should additional questions be posed to help understand values, attitudes, and policy of policymakers in this arena? 6. Should special features of the company be kept in mind in interpret- ing the responses? Interviewer Name Company Name Phone Document 4: Information for Policymakers Information about this effort will be provided to the policymaker you've identified as a respondent in two forms. First, a formal letter will be sent to the individual from the Panel. Second, a more informal, oral statement should be made by you to apprise the individual about the effort. The letter from the NRC Panel should help to assure the individual of the import of the work, and will at times facilitate the task of setting up an interview. The letter below is a draft of the one that will be sent out by NRC.

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APPENDIX A (NRC LetterheadJ Dear 83 The National Research Council has undertaken a major research project for the National Academy of Sciences on the "Education and Utilization of the Engineer." The work was initiated partly because of private and public sector concerns about the future vitality and com- petitiveness of high technology industry in the United States. The main objective is to better understand how to assure that the United States industries continue to depend on able engineers- trained in the right ways, at the right times, and with the right results. To achieve that understanding, NRC has been provided with financial resources to study this issue. The value will depend on the expertise of individuals representing major industries, universities, and govern- ment agencies at the local, state, and federal level. The values and attitudes of top management are critically important to the NRC work. For this reason, the Panel on Continuing Education has undertaken a pilot test of a survey of corporate values and attitudes on the topic. The pilot test involves an interview by one of your own managers. It asks for your judgments about technological issues and engineer train- ing in the company. of your organization will receive an interview guide and will contact your office within the next few weeks to set up an appointment. Your cooperation is essential if we are to build a better understanding of how to produce and innovate well in a rapidly changing technologi- cal environment. Sincerely, Panel Chairman Document 5: The Pilot Survey of CEO Values Questions andAnswers Q. What A. is the "Pilot Survey of Policymaker Values" ? The Pilot Survey is a small field test of an interview protocol. The protocol is designed to determine whether and how well we can obtain information about top management views of continuing education for engineers. If the pilot test of the protocol suggests that we can in fact

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84 APPENDIX A obtain useful information about values and attitudes of top man- agement, then a larger formal interview survey will be mounted. Q. Why would anyone want to interview top management about their views? A. No formal survey of CEO values and attitudes toward continuing education has ever been done. We know little, apart from anecdote and some personal experience, about how top management views the topic. Yet, CEOs' values seem important to our understanding of continuing education, its resources, and its future. Q. Under whose auspices is this test being undertaken? A. The test is being undertaken as part of a larger research project of the National Research Council's Committee on Engineering Edu- cation and Utilization. The Panel on Continuing Education of Engineers, a working group of the Committee, is responsible for the pilot test of the protocol and survey procedures. Q. Who is supposed to be interviewed? A. The Panel's primary interest here is in high-level general manage- ment values, rather than the values of human resources execu- t~ves. As a consequence, the target for interview is the CEO or EVP level. Who will do the survey? A. The interview of a company CEO or policymaker will be con- ducted by a company manager or executive. We believe this is a more efficient and practical approach than designating an outside individual or institution to conduct inter- views. That is, an outside group would have less access to CEOs, be less expert in company affairs, and be a less informed and less able vehicle for questions. If the survey is done by insiders, will "objectivity" be an issue? A. The panel believes that insiders can elicit information and fairly represent the CEO's response. But the Panel also recognizes that here, as in any other interview setting, coloring questions or tak- ing license with responses is possible. And so we ask the inter- viewers to abide by the instructions in a reasonably conscientious way. The more important factor here is insider access to the CEO or related executive level. It is not clear that an outside contractor can {aJ get the access needed, or jbJ pose the questions as expertly

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APPENDIX A 85 as an insider can. In making this judgment for the pilot test, the Panel does not forego other options for a larger survey. This depends in part on the experience of interviewers. Q. What incentives are there for the policymaker or CEO to cooper- ate? A. The incentives here are tied to the Committee and Panel mission. If the CEO believes that understanding how to get the right people trained at the right times in the right way on the right things is important, then he or she will be more likely to cooper- ate. If the interview procedure is sensible, in the CEO's view, cooperation is more likely. Still, this may not be sufficient. If other incentives or approaches are likely to be more useful, in the interviewers' judg- ment, the Panel welcomes suggestions. A. What will the product of the pilot test be? If the information produced in the pilot test is a reasonable charac- terization of top management views and helps to understand val- ues about when, how, and why continuing education may be important, then a formal survey with a large sample will be con- sidered by the Panel. Will r~.~,lt~ of the pilot test be made available to interviewers or to Q _ ~ executive level policymakers? A. A brief report on the pilot test and results will be made available. For information beyond the report, interviewers or respondents may contact members of the Panel on Continuing Education or the NRC staffer for the Panel, Vernon Miles. Q. Who are the members of the Panel on Continuing Education for Engineers? Who is the principal NRC staff member posted to the Panel? Panel Members Dr. Morris A. Steinberg {Chairman), Vice President, Science, Lockheed Corporation Mr. Ralph T. Dosher, Manager, Corporate Training and Education, Texas Instruments Mr. Rod Hanks, Director, College Relations and Technical Development, Lockheed Corporation

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86 Dr. Robert A. Hofstade~ Managed Education and Development Unix Exxon Resources and Engineering Company Professor Harold Kaufman' Polytechnic Institute of New York Dr Russell O'NeiD' University of California at Los Waggles Fir. Bernard SaDot' Advanced Technologies Croup Services Mr. Vernon Miles' National Rese~cb Council Co~ Dr. Robert E Bo~cb/ Nortbvestern University