Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Andres Sousa-Poza

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Ghaith Rabadi

Committee Member

Guerry Grune


Optimizing operational organizational effectiveness is the central, although often unstated, goal of engineering management and systems engineering research and applications. Two fundamental problems remain to be addressed in pursuit of this goal. First, despite over fifty years of research in various disciplines, there is still no universally accepted definition of organizational effectiveness. Second, no methodology exists to identify the domains, dimensions, and determinants of operational organizational effectiveness and dynamically model operational organizational effectiveness within a given population.

This research synthesizes a systems engineering methodology for identifying the domains, dimensions, and determinants of and dynamically modeling operational organizational effectiveness for an identified population. First, the methodology takes the concept of the niche from ecological theory as its definition of effectiveness. Specifically, an organization that is able to sustain a real nonnegative growth rate in its niche dimension under a set of competitive conditions is defined as being effective. Next, the methodology integrates organizational ecology and open systems theories, principles, and models into a unified systemic model of environmental and organizational domains and dimensions that provide the structure for research into the determinants of organizational effectiveness. Based on this model, the methodology gathers observable data on hypothesized determinants of effectiveness and applies event history survival and effectiveness analyses to identify the statistically significant determinants. The methodology's final two steps are to construct and validate a dynamic simulation model of organizational effectiveness based on the identified determinants and to perform sensitivity analyses.