U.S. government satellite acquisition programs have continually experienced large cost overruns, schedule delays, technology development problems, and performance shortfalls, which can potentially affect national security as well as the health and safety of civilians. Government program managers play a significant role in achieving organizational objectives through the acquisition life cycle of major U.S. government programs. Prior researchers have explored the importance of program managers’ competencies. Other researchers have identified key competencies of project managers to lead and manage the projects successfully in the aerospace industry. However, not enough research was conducted to assess the U.S. government program managers’ competencies to manage complex and challenging satellite acquisition programs in combination of other program context factors above and beyond program managers’ competencies, which could moderate and affect overall program success. The purpose of this quantitative, non-experimental survey research study was to examine the relationship and importance of U.S. government program managers’ perceived hard and soft competencies needed to achieve overall program success in managing major satellite acquisition programs. Additionally, the researcher examined how the program context factors moderated the relationship between program managers’ competencies and overall program success. A web-based survey, targeting aerospace and defense professionals garnered 104 valid responses. Utilizing the competency theory framework, multiple linear regression, chi-square goodness-of-fit, and hierarchical multiple regression tests were used to analyze the study data. The survey results revealed that program managers’ both hard and soft competencies predicted overall program success, F(2, 101) = 4.085, p = .020, R2 = .075. Program managers’ soft competencies were found to be somewhat more important than hard competencies in achieving overall program success, χ 2(4) = 29.3, p < .001. Of the four program context factors, resource availability positively moderated the relationship between program managers’ soft competencies and overall program success, F(10, 93) = 2.116, p = .031, R 2 = .185. A future hypothesis-based study may be conducted for other major U.S. government defense programs or private sector programs, which may provide insight to senior management leaders into matching of program managers’ competencies to specific program contexts and program types. A qualitative study to identify the causal reasons for unsuccessful U.S. space acquisitions program outcomes may provide in-depth personal and professional perspectives of other program context factors, which may influence overall program success.
|Advisor:||Mathes, Jennifer L.|
|Commitee:||Burrus, Scott W.M., Claus, Venessa A., Verrill, Stephen W.|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Business administration, Management|
|Keywords:||Competency, Overall program success, Program context, United States Department of Defense, United States Government Program Managers, United States Satellite Acquisition Programs|
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