Understanding the Emergence of Disruptive Innovation in Air Force Science and Technology Organizations
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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Although innovation is widely discussed in both military and industry venues, many organizations continue to struggle with what it means to be creative as well as maintain a competitive advantage. The United States Air Force has specifically struggled with the balance between improving existing technologies and employing revolutionary technologies. The purpose of this thesis was to study the motivation, focus, barriers, and culture needed to foster disruptive innovation in Air Force Science and Technology ST and to investigate how industry innovation strategies could improve breakthrough Air Force technology emergence. The Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL, the primary organization responsible for planning and executing all aspects of the Air Force science and technology program, is the ideal study subject to represent the Air Force ST community at large. Two previous industry research studies, now replicated in an AFRL organizational environment, provided quantitative and qualitative comparisons between the industry and Air Force ST communities. The study results showed that Air Force ST is capable of regaining its prominence as a leader in disruptive technological innovation by applying a basic improvement model, capturing the relevant best practices of industry, and exploiting the positive attributes of the military domain.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations