Date of Award

Winter 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

T. Steven Cotter

Committee Member

Andres Sousa-Poza

Committee Member

Mamadou Seck

Committee Member

Frederic D. McKenzie


Since the beginning of the human race, decision making and rational thinking played a pivotal role for mankind to either exist and succeed or fail and become extinct. Self-awareness, cognitive thinking, creativity, and emotional magnitude allowed us to advance civilization and to take further steps toward achieving previously unreachable goals. From the invention of wheels to rockets and telegraph to satellite, all technological ventures went through many upgrades and updates. Recently, increasing computer CPU power and memory capacity contributed to smarter and faster computing appliances that, in turn, have accelerated the integration into and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in organizational processes and everyday life. Artificial intelligence can now be found in a wide range of organizational systems including healthcare and medical diagnosis, automated stock trading, robotic production, telecommunications, space explorations, and homeland security. Self-driving cars and drones are just the latest extensions of AI. This thrust of AI into organizations and daily life rests on the AI community’s unstated assumption of its ability to completely replicate human learning and intelligence in AI. Unfortunately, even today the AI community is not close to completely coding and emulating human intelligence into machines. Despite the revolution of digital and technology in the applications level, there has been little to no research in addressing the question of decision making governance in human-intelligent and machine-intelligent (HI-MI) systems. There also exists no foundational, core reference, or domain ontologies for HI-MI decision governance systems. Further, in absence of an expert reference base or body of knowledge (BoK) integrated with an ontological framework, decision makers must rely on best practices or standards that differ from organization to organization and government to government, contributing to systems failure in complex mission critical situations. It is still debatable whether and when human or machine decision capacity should govern or when a joint human-intelligence and machine-intelligence (HI-MI) decision capacity is required in any given decision situation.

To address this deficiency, this research establishes a formal, top level foundational ontology of HI-MI decision governance in parallel with a grounded theory based body of knowledge which forms the theoretical foundation of a systemic HI-MI decision governance framework.