Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Abstract Contingency Contracting Officers (CCOs) are increasingly finding themselves an integral part of overseas deployments, purchasing in theater whatever the combat forces cannot bring with them. As a result, CCOs must deal directly with businesses and the individuals who operate them in the deployed location. Cultural differences between the CCO and suppliers can become an issue not encountered in stateside operations. This thesis was designed to explore the possible impact of culture on the deployed CCO's ability to do their job. There were four objectives of this study. First, those tasks CCOs must accomplish in order to perform their job were enumerated. Next, a theory of cultural comparison was identified. This theory, proposed by Geert Hofstede, measures culture using four dimensions: Power Distance (PDI), Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI), Individualism (IDV), and Masculinity (MAS). These four dimensions were then applied to each of the CCO tasks. Finally, using data from Hofstede, these dimensionalized tasks were compared to specific scores for Japan, the Gulf Arab States, and Southeastern Europe. Results of these comparisons suggest that CCOs in all three locations might expect difficulties accomplishing the twelve identified CCO tasks due to attitudes towards superior-subordinate relationships (PD I) and individualism (IDV). In Southeastern Europe, the degree to which people value feminine versus masculine attitudes may increase the difficulty level as well. In contrast, the low tolerance for ambiguity exhibited by each of the three cultures might be a positive thing for CCOs. Finally, the results also suggest that to a large degree, the cultural differences CCOs need pay most attention to are those differences between American culture as a whole (as differentiated from USAF contingency contracting) and foreign cultures.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology