Automated Logistics Environment (ALE) is a new term used by Navy and aerospace industry executives to describe the aggregate of logistics-related information systems that support modern aircraft weapon systems. The development of logistics information systems is not always well coordinated among programs, often resulting in solutions that cannot be easily integrated or made interoperable with other information systems used within the Department of Defense. A phenomenological approach was used to explore ALE program managers' lived experiences of coordinating defense acquisition programs toward the goal of creating a common environment in which information systems are well integrated and interoperable. The business problems associated with smart aircraft diagnostic, prognostic, health and usage monitoring systems, and the challenges created by the large volumes of data that are being collected by sensors onboard newly deployed smart aircraft also were explored. This qualitative study was accomplished by conducting interviews with 18 logistics and information technology managers from Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland with first-hand experience in dealing with ALE. The study results were presented in the form of a composite description derived from the textural-structural descriptions for each study participant. Results of the study included the structures of meaning surrounding ALE and identified social, organizational, and other non-technical components of systems integration that have been largely ignored in the information systems literature. Study results also included the perceived benefits and disadvantages of a common Automated Logistics Environment. Future researchers should consider the rich opportunities available to study other system of systems environments in federal government agencies including the U.S. Department of Defense, military departments, and subordinate defense agencies. While scholars may desire to simplify complex phenomena, future researchers should take care to avoid oversimplification of systems integration constructs in system of systems environments. As shown by this current ALE study, some technical and nontechnical issues may be inseparable in a real world setting. The ALE study results indicated that research that focuses on either technical or non-technical aspects of systems integration may not fully account for dynamic, interrelated (and often subtle) factors and may restrict our understanding of systems integration.
|Advisor:||Saleh Hammoud, Mohamad|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Business administration, Management, Information Technology|
|Keywords:||Automated logistics environment, Information systems, Interoperability, Smart aircraft, System of systems, Systems integration|
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