Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Public Service


Public Administration and Policy

Committee Director

Meagan Jordan

Committee Member

Wie Yusuf

Committee Member

Saikou Diallo


Nuanced differences between organizations and the pace of change within the national security domain have routinely produced equivocal results involving information and communication technology (ICT) development. These results are characterized by unpredictable costs, unrealistic delivery schedules, and dubious ICT performance in-use. This research is a case study exploration of organizational change involving technology (also referred to as ICT) in the national security domain of the public sector.

This research used machine learning and manual content analysis to compare the results of three experiments on interview transcripts. The first experiment investigated linkages between empirical and interpretive elements of organizational change. Empirical elements are defined as the a priori formal structure of organizational processes and outcomes. Interpretive elements are defined as informal process actions taken by organizational actors to coordinate organizational change involving ICT. The second experiment investigated linkages between formal a priori organizational context and outcomes, and informal process actions defined as individual (i.e., performative) and group (i.e., ostensive) practices. The third experiment parsed the interview transcripts into three episodes of organizational change. Manual content analysis was used to code formal a priori organizational structures and outcomes, and informal processes.

Case study results are conceived in four categories of process actions that link a priori organizational processes and outcomes. The process action categories are conceived as, iterating, adjudicating, coordinating, and processes in-use. These categories offer explanations for how organizational change and stability involving ICT is impacted by informal coordinating process actions of organizational actors. The case study findings implicate a type of organizational change involving ICT as an evolving and dynamic endeavor. The findings contrast with formulaic phases and stages prescriptions for organizational change that dominate the extant literature.

Organizational context in the national security domain is characterized by porous networked arrangements of multi-sector, dynamic and complex public jurisdictions. Enactment of public administration programs and policies is dependent upon ICT as tools of governance. Informal coordinating processes that link the fulfillment of organizational change involving technology to a priori structured processes and outcomes need to be better understood in theory and practice to ensure effective execution of aspirational policies and programs.