Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Summer E. Bartczak, PhD


The Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) Loop ideas of Air Force Colonel John Boyd have impacted the Department of Defense (DoD), influenced military thought, paved the way for operational change, and helped to shape fighting doctrines. A wide variety of OODA Loop ideas and interpretations exist in the literature, but are unorganized and have not undergone holistic study to determine how Boyd's ideas have spread or changed over time. As such, this research analyzed a quarter century (1976-2003) sample of the OODA Loop literature to examine the diffusion and evolution of OODA Loop ideas since Boyd's original conceptualizations. This research used qualitative data analysis to examine OODA Loop ideas in light of innovation diffusion theory. Ideas from Boyd's original OODA Loop theories were compared and contrasted with subsequent literature instances to assess diffusion and evolution of OODA Loop ideas in the DoD. This research concluded with a proposed conceptual framework for collectively considering OODA Loop ideas.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number