Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Timothy S. Reed, PhD


The United States Government is a major purchaser of goods and services within the nation and overseas. In addition to having the responsibility of acquiring goods and services for the direct benefit of the Government at a price, level of quality, timeliness and other terms and conditions that reflect the best value to the nation, the persons involved in procurement for the Government must also do so in way that reflects certain socio-economic goals set forth by the Congress. The Small Business Act (15 USC 637, Public Law 85-536 (1958) established the beginnings of a program to assist domestic small businesses in competing for Federal procurements. The small business act requires that small business concerns be afforded the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in Federal contracts and subcontracts. This thesis looks the impact of acquisition reform and related developments in the last ten years on the participation of small business subcontractors in the aerospace industry through the window of six major aerospace weapon system programs. The objectives of this research were to (1) research the buying practices of the defense aerospace industry to determine current trends relating to small business levels of participation by comparing acquisition programs, and (2) compare existing Air Force small business programs, policies, and techniques to developing trends for small business participation and identify strengths and weaknesses.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number