Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Rafael Landaeta

Committee Member

C. Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Holly Handley

Committee Member

Garrett Haltiwanger


This dissertation contributes an empirical research on business transformation disruption in the military. Specifically, this exploratory research seeks a better understanding of disruption of business transformation and some of the factors that are likely to impact the transformation process at the military strategic command level. A lack of empirical studies existing in the literature, coupled with the continuous transformation challenges faced by military organizations, make it necessary to conduct this empirical study of business transformation disruption in the military.

This research was carried out utilizing a two-phase mixed-methods approach. The first phase included qualitative data gathering through a series of discussions and focus groups that provided an initial understanding of the phenomena and the basis needed to formulate the research conducted in the second phase. From this initial phase, three main research categories were established which focused on Leadership Turbulence, Resistance to Business Transformation, and Lack of Agility in Military Culture. A quantitative data collection and analysis was conducted in the second phase to test a set of seven hypotheses. A total of 1,095 data points were collected from senior level military and civil servants of a U.S. Army strategic command organization (Training and Doctrine Command) using a self-administered online survey.

The results of this investigation suggest that a) frequent turnover of a commander or commanding general, b) perceived inconsistencies of leadership guidance, and c) perceived disincentives for achieving organizational process efficiencies are associated to disrupting business transformation goals and initiatives. Conversely, this initial investigation failed to support that d) collaboration with colleagues, e) reluctance to adopting different business processes, f) perceived negative assessments of process improvement initiatives, and g) dissent tolerance are associated to the disruption of business transformation efforts at the military strategic command level. The findings of this study highlight the importance of considering a wide range of critical success factors in the transformation of military strategic commands. The results of this research can be used by engineering managers, practitioners, and academics as a complement to their research and teaching efforts with respect to organizational change and transformation.