ERIC Number: ED202270
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Career Patterns: The Liberal Arts Major in Bell System Management.
Beck, Robert E.
The potential and progress of liberal arts majors in management positions with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company were investigated in two studies. In the Management Progress Study, a total of 422 managers from six different operating companies were studied since their hiring in the mid-1950s. Of these, 274 were college graduates when employed. In 1977, a new project, the Management Continuity Study, was begun to examine differences and similarities between the new generation of college recruits and the last. The major method used to study the participants in both studies was the management assessment center, which has been the basis for determining potential for advancement. Assessment dimensions include the following: administrative skills, consisting of planning and organizing and decision-making; interpersonal skills, including such things as face-to-face leadership, oral communication skills; intellectual ability, including range of interests, general mental ability, and written communication skills; and managerial motivation, including need for advancement and financial motivation. The effect of educational level attained and college major in relation to these dimensions was analyzed. It was found that humanities and social science majors showed especially strong interpersonal skills and were similar to business majors in administrative skills and motivation for advancement. Their greatest weakness was in quantitative skills. The math and science majors were similar to the engineers in their strengths and weaknesses: they had strong quantitative skills but were weak in administrative and interpersonal skills and had rather low motivation for advancement. One overall conclusion is that there is no need for liberal arts majors to lack confidence in approaching business careers. (SW)
Descriptors: Administrator Qualifications, Business, College Graduates, Communication Skills, Comparative Analysis, Employment Level, Higher Education, Interpersonal Competence, Job Skills, Leadership Qualities, Liberal Arts, Longitudinal Studies, Majors (Students), Managerial Occupations, Mathematics, Sciences, Vocational Followup, Writing Skills
Association of American Colleges, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 ($1.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Association of American Colleges, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: American Telephone and Telegraph Company
Note: Paper presented at a conference sponsored by the Association of American Colleges (March 4, 1981).