Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Patricia G. Luna, PhD


Small Businesses (SB) have been of recognized important to the Federal Government for many years. This thesis explores the role of SB contractors in Air Force (AF) procurement and the effects of recent acquisition reform (AR) initiatives on their involvement, including their method of involvement (contract type), product areas in which they participate, and possible new areas of measurement. This thesis answers the research and investigative questions in three ways. First, it explores the correlation of AR initiatives to SB participation as a whole, via selected contract types, and in selected product categories via causal regression models. Next, it identifies trends in AF procurement via selected contract types in selected product categories via descriptive numerical comparison. Finally, it identifies possible product areas for improved SB recruitment. The results of this thesis are as varied as the methodologies employed to answer the research and investigative questions. First, very little correlation was found between acquisition reform initiatives and SB participation. Next, SB participation trends via the selected contract types in the selected product areas varied much greater than overall SB participation. Finally, several product categories were identified as suffering from a decreasing level of SB participation.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number