Managing Defense Procurement: The Role of United States Special Operations Command, Congress, and Private Industry
Abstract: The Nunn-Cohen Amendment to the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Defense
Reorganization Act created the United States Special Operations Command, or USSOCOM. This
structural change to the Department of Defense pulled Special Operations Forces, or SOF,
out from underneath the purview of the military services and provided it with an
institutional organization that could advocate for SOF operational ... read moreconcerns and resource
requirements within the defense bureaucracy at the national policy level. Congress
provided USSOCOM with unique authorities and resources that enabled it to develop and
procure special operations peculiar capabilities within the defense structure that is
organized around the military services. Resource Based Theory, a strategic management
theory, is introduced into public management as an alternative to traditional capital
investment theories in the context of resource constraints. The study tests Resource Based
Theory's ability as an analytical framework to explain USSOCOM's bureaucratic actions
while developing and procuring Special Operations peculiar capabilities. It examines the
case of the dry combatant submersible and the relationship between USSOCOM, Naval Special
Warfare, the maritime Special Operations Forces component, the United States Navy, the
Submarine Force naval component, the Department of Defense (DoD), Congress and the defense
industry. This study finds that the distinctive competencies of service components linked
together across organizational lines serve as the source of competitive advantage. They
also serve as potential sources of cooperation, vice competition, in resource allocation.
Conversely, the higher level objectives of the principal organizational stake holders
inform prioritization of resources and generate organizational conflict within DoD. The
study also illustrates the effect of organizational innovation within DoD. USSOCOM expands
technological choice and expands the industrial base of the defense industry. Finally,
although the military services continue to dominate the defense establishment, when
USSOCOM focuses on a distinctive competency and intervenes across the entire decision
making process it is effective at leveraging its unique authorities to develop and procure
special operations peculiar capabilities.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Diplomacy, History, and Politics.
Advisor: Robert Pfaltzgraff.
Committee: Richard Shutz, and William Martel.
Keywords: Management, Public administration, and Military studies.read less