Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Acquisition Research Symposium



Conference Name

Fourteenth Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, April 26-27, 2017, Monterey, California


The acquisition field continues to face increasing pressures to perform under conditions of escalating complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. These conditions suggest that traditional approaches, practices, and acquisition technologies might be incongruent with support demands for acquisition practitioners. This research is focused on exploiting and extending recent developments in Complex System Governance (CSG) to advance the acquisition field. CSG is focused on the design, execution, and evolution of fundamental system functions necessary for control, communications, coordination, and integration of complex systems (e.g., acquisition). CSG is based in Systems Theory (fundamental laws governing complex systems), Management Cybernetics (the science of effective system organization), and Governance (provision of direction, oversight, and accountability for systems). Recent advances in CSG (Keating, Katina, & Bradley, 2015) make this an opportune time for exploitation of this field to advance acquisition research and practice in novel ways. Following an introduction and literature review, this paper reports on efforts to (1) establish a systems theory based framework for Acquisition System Governance, (2) mapping of systems pathologies (systemic errors that degrade system performance) to a CSG Reference Model with implications for acquisition practice, and (3) suggests implications for moving CSG forward to improve acquisition practice. The paper closes with directions for bringing CSG to practice through research based application development.


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Bibliographic information: Part of Series Complex Systems Governance

Number SYM-AM-17-065


0000-0001-9452-9105 (Keating), 0000-0002-2213-4929 (Katina)

Original Publication Citation

Keating, C. B., Bradley, J. M., Katina, P. F., & Jaradat, R. M. (2017, April 26-27). A systems theoretic-based framework to discover pathologies in acquisition system governance [Conference paper]. Fourteenth Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, Monterey, California.

SLIDESKeating-2017-ASystemsTheoreticBasedFramework.pdf (4494 kB)
Presentation Slides in PDF Format