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Acquisition Risks in a World of Joint Capabilities: Evaluating Complex Configurations

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Technical Report

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University of North Carolina Charlotte Charlotte United States

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Major Defense Acquisition Programs MDAP are becoming increasingly interdependent and complex. Yet, research in the acquisition field has little to offer in terms of how to address the increasing complexity. This research seeks to forge new ground on uncovering early indicators of interdependency acquisition risk so appropriate governance mechanisms can then be isolated. This research examines DoD acquisition from the context of a network of interrelated programs that exchange and share resources for the purpose of establishing joint capabilities. The research focuses on the joint space of major defense acquisition programs the space where transactions form interdependencies among MDAP programs. For this research, jointness, interdependency, exchange, and partnerships all refer to a similar concept the notion that autonomous organizations build relationships to obtain resources to provide capabilities that, when looked at in totality, form network structures. Three questions drove the research to identify whether two specific networksfunding and data demonstrate preferential attachment, to identify the most frequently occurring configuration patterns, and to determine whether contagion was present and under what conditions contagion was apparent.

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