Engineering, Professionalism, and Unions

by Richard H. French, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Environmental and Water Resources Engrg. Program, Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, Tenn.,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 1-6

Document Type: Journal Paper


The subject of engineering professionalism and unions is briefly examined. In this context, three theses are developed: (1) Engineering is a profession as old as medicine or laws; (2) the historical development of the modern engineering societies has allowed internal conflicts that have hindered the establishment of ethical standards and a realistic program of professional development; and (3) professionalism and unions, as defined, are compatible. The deficiencies of the present society system are identified, and it is suggested that professionalism might benefit from some form of unionization.

Subject Headings: Professional development | Engineering profession | Engineering history | Professional societies | Laws | Dispute resolution | Ethics | Systems engineering

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