AbstractDuring the decade from 1974-1984 engineering departments in Welsh County Councils experienced changes in their technical, social and organizational environments. These changes affected the relationships within such organizations particularly between professional engineers who have traditionally assumed a leading organizational identity and generalist administrators whose organizational identity has become more established as a result of the increasing size of departments. This study was a consequence of the author's experience in a number of engineering departments during this decade of change. The object of the study was to seek a greater understanding of the reactions to these changes and to examine the resulting working relations between engineers and administrators.
The thesis examines and seeks an understanding of the changing relationships brought about by these environmental changes through conducting a survey of engineers and administrators within Welsh County Council engineering departments. The survey is related to the work of previous writers on organizational analysis and particularly to the work of authors who have looked at the problem of intra-organizational behaviour. Responses to survey questionnaires supplemented by personal interviews provide information on the attitudes and perceptions of engineers and administrators to organizational relationships. The representation of group attitudes and perceptions has been achieved through an attitude model termed the RESULTANT ATTITUDE SCORE which was developed by the author as part of the study.
The work diverges from the orthodox examination of local government organizations in that it takes as its starting point the area of departmental organization. The study then proceeds to relate to the individual level within the organization and attempts to analyse organizational relationships within the framework of individual perceptions and beliefs and the environmental changes affecting engineering departments. The literature together with the author's participant observation within local government over the past decade provides a background against which organizational changes, individual relationships and perceptions are set.
Except for the innovative concept of the Resultant Attitude Score, which is a methodological approach used here for the first time, radically new concepts are not presented since the intention has been to integrate fragmented theoretical concepts within a more comprehensive framework in order to examine and evaluate the changing relationships between engineers and administrators within Welsh local government engineering departments.
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