Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Management 2016 International Annual Conference


1-10 pp.

Conference Name

American Society for Engineering Management International Annual Conference, 26-29 October 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA


The purpose of this paper is to explore Complex System Governance (CSG) issues related to systemic analysis of acquisition systems. CSG is an emerging field focused on the design, execution, and evolution of the functions necessary to provide continued system performance (stability) in the midst of incessant turbulence and increasing complexity. Integral to this field is the necessity to engage systems to address behavior or performance that is inconsistent with that which is desired. Systemic analysis for CSG serves to examine a system to discover fundamental system issues (e.g. acquisition). Arguably, system acquisition has an unremarkable record of success, ranging from missing cost, schedule, or performance expectations to outright failure. However, although acquisition has been a continual subject of reform, little emphasis has been placed on a more rigorous systemic exploration of the field. This systemic analysis is aimed at uncovering deeper levels of aberrant behavior/performance as a function of a deficient underlying governance system. To examine systemic analysis of CSG for acquisition, this paper pursues three primary objectives. First, a brief introduction to the acquisition problem domain and CSG are provided. Second, a perspective of systems-based pathologies for CSG is developed. Third, an approach to systemic analysis for CSG is developed (the M-Path Method). This method is introduced as an approach to ‘systemic analysis’ through the identification of pathologies (deviations from healthy system functioning) in CSG. The paper concludes with directions for future development of systemic analysis for CSG in acquisition.


Included with the kind permission of the publisher.

Copyright, American Society for Engineering Management, 2016.


0000-0001-9452-9105 (Keating)

Original Publication Citation

Keating, C. B., Bradley, Joseph M., & Katina, P. F. (2016). Systemic analysis of complex system governance for acquisition. In In S. Long, E-H. Ng, C. Downing, & B. Nepal (Eds), Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Management 2016 International Annual Conference (pp. 1-10). American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM).