, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 339-356

First online:

Engineering perspectives and technology design in the United States

  • Harold SalzmanAffiliated withTechnology, Work and Organizations Program, Urban Research Institute, University of Louisville Email author 

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Technology design has social as well as technical determinants. These social factors, such as the political context and social philosophy, vary historically and cross-nationally. The work upon which this paper is based addresses the nature of process technology design in the United States and focuses on the underlying assumptions that guide technology design, based on both historical analysis and survey and case studies of current design practices. Central to this work is an analysis of how the US approaches compare to some of the other industrial nations and the assumptions and implications of different social design concepts such as human-centered design, skill-based design, and human factors.


Technology design Taylorism Engineering design Manufacturing Technology Human Factors Human-centred design