Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Engineering (D Eng)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Rafael Landaeta

Committee Director

Pilar Pazos

Committee Member

Holly Handley

Committee Member

Celia Orgel


The purpose of this project was to formulate a process to facilitate the development of an effective change intervention deployment plan. The premise is that without a proper deployment plan, the successful implementation of a change intervention in an organization will be slow and require multiple revisions. This research utilized a Sociotechnical Systems (STS) approach to analyze the implementation of a major change intervention.

This research was in part prompted by a request by management of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the researcher to examine why it has taken so long to successfully implement this large-scale change initiative in this organization. Further examination prompted the following research question:

How can using a Sociotechnical Systems-based process facilitate the successful development of a change intervention deployment plan?

A related research question is: How can the design and analysis of a sociotechnical deployment plan facilitate the identification of constraints that could impede implementation of the change initiative? These questions established the foundation for this research. This study is based on two main research areas: Sociotechnical Systems analysis and Implementation of Change Initiatives.

This study found a void in current research in the development of an approach bridging an STS based implementation plan framework and change initiative implementation. An explanatory qualitative case study research methodology was used as the research tool in this study. This study was prompted by research involving implementation of a major change initiative (i.e., formal project management as a fundamental business process) in a large government agency (i.e., USACE) providing professional architectural and engineering services. The phenomenon in study is the assimilation of "project management" as a fundamental business process utilizing the USACE as the primary unit of analysis. The case study analysis revealed that even though implementation of this major initiative has been considered successful, it has taken over 25 years to realize due to numerous factors that contributed to false starts, and multiple revisions due to lack of a comprehensive deployment plan. This study found that the impediments encountered during implementation could have been avoided or anticipated, if an STS based plan had been utilized.