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United Kingdom's defence procurement: a period of smart enlightenment or halting culture

O'Callaghan, DM; (2001) United Kingdom's defence procurement: a period of smart enlightenment or halting culture. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to map predominant cultures and examine their compatibility with the Smart Procurement Initiative. An initiative that was identified in the Strategic Defence Review to address the limitations of UK's defence procurement process that had previously failed to deliver defence equipment to cost, time and specification. The introduction reviews those factors, which influenced procurement since World War 11. The background to UK's current procurement process is then analysed to show how previous Government reviews of the process led to reforms and yet still the recurring problems of cost and time over runs to equipment programmes were exposed. External Geopolitical factors are then considered to see how they influenced the procurement process and associated cultures, as is Information Technology, which has had such a significant effect on both business and military affairs. The deliverables in any procurement process are new, replacement or additional capabilities and the major supplier is industry. The changing nature of the national and international defence industrial bases are therefore explored to identify their influence on the process. The SDR, which included the tenets of the Smart Procurement Initiative (SPI), is then scrutinised to establish the novelty and likely impact on the procurement process. The focus is then turned to culture and the importance and principles of culture and culture change is addressed. This insight is followed by two surveys, one employing the internationally recognised Organizational Culture Inventory, which were used to determine ' what behaviours were expected of people working in the Equipment Capability Customer (EEC) within the Ministry of Defence and within the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA). The survey results provided a cultural baseline that indicates whether the prevailing organisational cultures within both EC and DPA would be supportive of or dysfunctional towards the SPI. The next aspect of the research was a series of in-depth interviews conducted in both organisations to explore the attitudes, behaviour, values and beliefs regarding the SPI. In addition, the interviews were to provide a clear understanding of SPI from the respondents' perspective. By identifying the prevailing organisational cultures through" triangulation, the likelihood of those cultures supporting SPI is determined. Conclusions are then drawn and recommendations made.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: United Kingdom's defence procurement: a period of smart enlightenment or halting culture
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by EThOS.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546320
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