Opinion: Age conflict and old-fashioned (lack of) management/leadership.

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Debra Schiff has an interesting article in the IEEE Spectrum February 2003 issue titled “Mind the Gap”. http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/spectrum/feb03/departments/care.html

The article talks about young people having to work under the leadership of “incompetent, belligerent, and stupid — too stuck in the way things had always been done to see a new, good idea” old-fashioned bosses whose “earliest memories and impressions were shaped by the Great Depression and World War II, and they value civic duty, loyalty, and respect for authority” and who are “too out of touch to have anything of value to add”.

The article presents some solutions to age conflicts as “attitudes need to change at the top of the organization”, “the strategy is to raise the awareness of executive-level staff first”, and “the key is for leaders to act as role models by resolving issues in an open and transparent way”.

Working at WKU, I can see this happening and the Head, Department of Engineering, is an excellent example of this old-fashioned style of (lack of) management and stubbornness; a department head who wants to shape the starting Engineering Program his way while retiring on June 30, 2003.

It would be interesting to see the College Heights Herald interview several faculty and administrators and share the thoughts.

George J. Wakileh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering