Factors Influencing Canadian Power Engineers' Decision to Purse Advanced Certification

Factors Influencing Canadian Power Engineers' Decision to Purse Advanced Certification

Author: 
Clayton R. Mullen
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The intent of the current study was to address the gap in knowledge regarding factors influencing Canadian power engineers’ decision to pursue advanced certification in British Columbia and Alberta. The purpose of the study was to explore potential relationships between advancement intention and these decision factors. The dependent variable was the intent to advance. The six independent variables are comprised of the following: (a) time commitment, (b) educational support, (c) locus of control (LOC), (d) time elapsed since previous certification, (e) responsibility, and (f) peer appraisal. The research methodology was a quantitative correlational design, followed with linear and logistic regression. An original survey was developed for the study and pilot tested for validity and reliability. Revealed in the results of the study were positive and significant relationships between the dependent variable (DV) of advancement intention and three of the six independent variables (IVs) tested through correlational analysis. The relationships were time commitment, responsibility, and elapsed time. The three remaining independent variables that did not exhibit significant relationships with the DV were educational support, locus of control, and peer appraisal. Comprehension of the influential factors regarding the intention of Canadian power engineers’ to pursue advanced certification may assist industry and academia with insight into the barriers and enablers to higher certification, and the correlation of decision factors with advancement intention.
Dedication: 
The current study is dedicated to my family, my parents, friends, my study cohort, and the myriad workplace and academic leaders who influenced my path. These individuals provided fervent and impassioned motivation for academic and personal growth. To my wife Elizabeth who demonstrated love, courage, tenacity, and patience, while always acting as Dr. Jekyll to my episodic role as Mr. Hyde. Without Elizabeth, my journey is incomplete. Much gratitude to my mentors Frank Slater and Dr. Sanja Boskovic who instilled a strong work ethic, an understanding of the balance between the theoretical and the practical aspects of vocation and life, and the absolute requirement to nurture success in others. I am grateful to Bob Norton for strong support, encouragement, and my first position as a power engineer, and to Gilbert Strebel, Bruce Fitzgerald, Lorne Farrell, Gavin Toth, Jim Norcross and many others for their collective wisdom. Thank you to Leanne Salley for great conversations, insight, objectivity, and your unique and compassionate ability to comprehend and discuss the evolving human condition. I thank God for recognition of my faults, grounding in faith, and for providing the capacity, tenacity, perseverance, and aptitude to complete this work.
Acknowledgements: 
I thank my Chair and academic mentor, Dr. Yohannes Mariam, for his guidance and advice. Dr. Mariam provided stewardship throughout the daunting dissertation odyssey. I wish to thank my committee members, Drs. S. Mackenzie Glander-Dolo and Yonas Keleta for their kindness, generosity of spirit, time, and expertise. I greatly appreciate the genetic and learned contributions of my parents, which created the foundations for success and happiness. My mother’s qualitative nature coupled with my father’s empiricism provided the requisite lens for synthesizing and interpreting information, and converting this information to knowledge. I acknowledge and thank Drs. Stephen J. Sapp and Wendy J. Harrod for permission to use questions from the 9- item locus of control scale in my original survey. Thank you to Dr. Frederick Lawrence and Roberta Bledsoe for their wise and tireless counseling on statistical techniques and analysis, and to Dr. Karen Bammel for her guidance regarding writing style. I greatly appreciate the expert statistical advice and patience from Dr. David Kremelberg, who easily navigated and stabilized my vacillating approaches to methodology and analysis. I acknowledge and respect Dr. Sanja Boskovic for her kindness and mentorship throughout the doctoral process. Dr. Boskovic is the ideal exemplar of expertise in academics and as a practitioner. Much gratitude to the individuals in Pulp and Paper, and at the Burrard Thermal Generation Station for the wealth of shared experience. I confer a debt of gratitude to the contact agents and power engineers at the facilities who participated in the research. The individuals made time for my research in spite of their very busy schedules and challenges. Finally, thank you Dr. Genevieve Segol her help in initiating the research process.