Industrial Engineering is the gathering of knowledge from several fields for a single entity, industry. The field of Industrial engineering is shaped, defined, and owes its existence to this. The current business model provides management with the power to make decisions and Industrial Engineers with ability to find the best decision. This divide of decision making skill and power often results in the frustration of industrial engineers. In this paper, I will use several articles from a variety of journals that represent divides within industrial engineering to display the struggle between management and industrial engineers. To showcase this, I will break down the articles and their journals down by their divides.
1. Persuasive Pieces
One of the primary persuasive styles involves the use of a case study that showcases the power of industrial engineering when thoroughly applied while maintaining a language understood by management, money. This style is utilized in the article “Challenges of Industrial Engineering” by Warren Mellin in the “Management International.”
In the beginning Mellin states, “The purpose of this article is to review the role of industrial engineering and search for significant highlights that may be of interest to the reader.” He creates a simple structure that breaks down his essay into four parts: a brief description of his example, “a summary of the development and organizations of the industrial engineering function,” “ Case histories emphasizing results of actually projects,” and “a discussion of trends in industrial engineering.” The first section is meant to establish United airlines as a leader while the second establishes the connection between United Airlines’ success and the implementation of an industrial engineering. Its Mellin clearly targets the management audience through this journal by emphasizing the cost savings that several projects created within his case example. By emphasizing these savings, Mellin attempts to entice the readers with the value industrial engineers provide. The case study provides critical value as it validates the arguments when Mellin transitions from his case examples to his “Trends” section where he breaks down valuable areas of concern. This format afford the author authority through the example that strengthens his own argument. The breaking down the case studies and articles numerically allows a level of clarity that simplifies the argument into simpler terms for the audience.
While this technique is helpful when presenting value of industrial engineering, it does not examine the dangers created by those outside of the field. “ Decline in Industrial Engineering” by Jean Mayer in the journal, “Science,” better reveals the issues brought by those outside of industrial engineering into industrial engineering. This article reminds me of the articles showcased in the “Huffington Post.” The article gathers its strength from the author who is the president of Tufts university. His credibility allows him to broadly engage the issues within manufacturing as symptoms of a illness caused by a decreased emphasis on engineering through financial, organizational, political, and educational means. He does not rely on any primary or secondary sources ,but rather he assumes the audience is knowledgeable of the issue and presents the underlying causes. This style is a powerful as it is a declaration, but weakens itself as it relies on the authority of the author rather than data.
This is not the case with the style used in the article, “Cost Engineering – A New Branch of the Engineering Profession” by Cecil Chilton. Within this article, Chilton utilizes a theoretical model to represent where the specialty of Cost engineering is of key value and where decisions that may seem clear are more complicated than previously thought. Cecil simplifies the mathematics while maintaining the separate steps to showcase to the reader the benefits of an industrial engineer specialized in cost engineering. This piece is a persuasive piece directed at management for the need of a separate entity from industrial engineering. This style is meant to fill a gap and emphasize the need of a new method of investigation and decision making.
2. Research Pieces
Within this group of writing pieces, styles present a type of research position where techniques are presented along with results as an analysis of the method.
The journal “Interfaces”‘s content all revolves around a quantifiable nature that provides a scientific method-like rhetoric for easy replicable results. In the article, “A Queueing Case Study of Drive-In Banking,” the method of observance is broken down along with the method of analysis within the document. However, the document’s language suggests that its intended audience includes those in management positions who might have less knowledge on the subject than a professional Industrial engineer. The paper contains odd sentences in several parts that reveal of divide distress between management and the engineers. Near the beginning, the paper states “the bank was less concerned about the costs as the quality of customer service.” Later, its states “the team suggested the cost criterion should be evaluated.” Further on it states “the team cheerfully set to work with a set of formulas…” It appears to me that the team is cheerful because the cost criterion was accepted. The unnecessary presentation of the conversation between the management and engineers created a lack of credibility on the part of the author. This journal does have its practical uses. It provides a model for adaption of techniques to improve efficiency through simple language and clear resources.
I would describe the second identified style within Research pieces to be “True Research.” The article “The CIM Challenge” in the “MIS Quarterly” contains an abstract and a proposal of value to an audience of industrial engineers. The vocabulary and acronyms are not knowledge available to many outside of the Industrial engineering field. The authors, William Doll and Mark Vonderembse, propose that there is more value in a total overhaul of a manufacturing company with industrial engineering methods and concepts. The article contains an extensive bibliography, data, and figures that present an argument that is directed at convincing industrial engineers. Currently, industrial engineering is a piece by piece method that slowly takes over. This article seeks to gain allies to convince those in positions of power to enact massive change.
The discourse within Industrial engineers varies in where it gathers strength, quality, audience, and directive. Unlike any other field, Industrial engineering is directed by the vague masses that occupy managerial positions. This divide between those with the power to interpret data and find the best decisions and those with the the power to make decisions defines the academia surrounding my field. It will continue to do so until there is massive investment in the improvement of manufacturing that forces out those who do not adopt to the fullest extent these methodologies.
Chilton, Cecil H. “Cost Engineering: A New Branch of the Engineering Profession.” Management International 4.5/6 (1964): 147-51. JSTOR. Web. 7 July 2014.
Doll, William J. “Forging a Partnership to Achieve Competitive Advantage: The CIM Challenge.” MIS Quarterly 11.2 (1987): 205-20. JSTOR. Web. 14 July 2014.
Foote, B. L. “A Queueing Case Study of Drive-In Banking.” Interfaces 6.4 (1976): 31-37. Web.
Mayer, Jean. “Decline in Industrial Engineering.” Science 218.4577 (1982): 1073. JSTOR. Web. 7 July 2014.
Mellin, Warren R. “The Challenges of Industrial Engineering.” Management International 3.2 (1963): 39-50. JSTOR. Web. 7 July 2014.