Value creation in the engineering enterprise: an educational perspective

James Trevelyan, Bill Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This position paper sets out to examine value creation in the engineering enterprise, a process that has mostly been associated with innovation and entrepreneurs. An analysis of the literature on engineering value creation in business studies, engineering and engineering education publications shows that there has been surprisingly little empirical study and thus the means by which most engineers contribute value is unclear in the literature. Analysis of published data and data from studies by the authors in engineering workplaces in Australia, South East Asia and Portugal suggests that the work performed by most engineers has little to do with innovation. Based on these data the authors identify 14 ways in which engineers create value. An important finding is that routine engineering performances by a majority of engineers, not associated with innovation or entrepreneurial activities, not only can be shown to create value, but also to protect accumulated value from inadvertent destruction. The paper outlines the educational implications of these findings and proposes measures that engineering educators can adopt to improve the understanding of engineering graduates about engineering value creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-483
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number4
Early online date21 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019


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