Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Ross T. McNutt, PhD


At the end of March 2005, the final students will graduate from the Air Force Institute of Technology's (AFIT) contracting graduate degree curricula -- consisting at various times of both contract management and strategic purchasing course sequences -- which have been relocated to the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). With the end of the contracting graduate programs at AFIT, it is appropriate to ask what contributions AFIT theses have made to the contracting community. Scholars (e.g., Das and Hanfield, 1997) have argued that thesis and dissertation research is one useful method of determining contributions to the field. The author conducted a rigorous review of contracting-related theses done at AFIT to find out what contributions they have made to the contracting community and how future research, performed elsewhere, might continue to make contributions in the future. Through this study it was discovered that the majority of the contracting research conducted at AFIT pertained to purchasing planning, organization, policy, and personnel. There has been little research done on commercial purchasing issues, such as buyer-supplier relationship and supply chain integration. The majority of the research performed was in exploratory study format using mostly case studies, interviews, and surveys to collect data. The most common data analysis techniques used were descriptive statistics (36%) followed by anecdotal evidence (18%), "other" (16%), and modeling/simulation (15%).

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number