Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Paul W. Phister, Jr.

Committee Member

C. Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Resit Unal


As operations command structures change, it is important to be able to explore and understand their fundamental nature; researchers should unearth the gestalt nature of the operational node. The organizational structure and the infrastructure can significantly affect overall command and control (C2) performance. Thus, it is necessary to develop understanding of effectiveness of the technical network and the people using the system as a whole.

The purpose of this research is to conduct an analysis of a representative Air Power Operational C2 node, create and use a repeatable method, and present the results as a case study to elicit fundamental understanding. I posit that there is a recognizable (and discoverable) relationship between the social (human) network and technical supporting network. Examining the system under change can result in an understanding of this relationship. In this work, I enhanced an existing simulation tool to investigate the effects of organizational structure on task effectiveness. The primary research question examined is how a representative AOC system changes varying noise and system fragmentation when operating in two different organizational constructs.

Network-Enabled Capability (as the term is used in NATO), Network Centric Operations, or Edge Organizations, is a core C2 transformation predicated upon a set of network-centric tenets. These tenets form the intellectual foundation for ongoing transformations. The secondary research question is to determine if these tenets are unbound, and what elucidation results if they are not.

This research produces four significant contributions to Operational Command and Control and Engineering Management disciplines. First, I combined social networking theory and information theory into a single lens for evaluation. By using this new concept, I will be able to accomplish a quantitative evaluation by something other than mission treads, field exercise, historical evaluation, or actual combat. Second, I used both information theory and social networking concepts in a non-traditional setting. Third, I hope this research will start the process required to gain the knowledge to achieve some sort of future C2 structure. Fourth, this research suggests directions for future research to enhance understanding of core Operational Command and Control concepts.