American Society of Civil Engineers

Coping with the Marketplace: A Management Balancing Act

by William E. Norris, F.ASCE, (Assoc., Burgess & Niple, Ltd., Engrs. and Archts., 5085 Reed Rd., Columbus, OH 43220)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 3, July 1987, pp. 194-200, (doi:

     Access full text
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Journal Paper
Discussion: by James C. Howland    (See full record)
Closure:(See full record)
Abstract: Consulting engineering is performed in a highly competitive marketplace. A conflict emerges that pits the responsibility to profit as businesses against the responsibility to maintain quality in service. This article focuses on overhead control and the introduction of internal entrepreneurship for management and staff, jointly, to meet this challenge. Internal entrepreneurship refers to a responsibility on the part of staff to understand the cost mechanics of a firm that affect its overhead burden, and the responsibility of management to confer authority, insist on performance standards, share information, and institute bonus incentives on a project basis. It is proposed that an appropriate system of information sharing and incentives will contribute to the minimization of the overhead burden to the total benefit of the firm.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Engineering firms
Quality control