Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
The Project on Government Oversight listed 632 reported acts of government contractor misconduct since 2007 that resulted in settlements or fines totaling $41.95 billion in the government contracting industry. Government contracting officials changed the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in 2009 to reduce acts of misconduct. The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to discover if the change to the FAR in 2009 significantly reduced the rate of reported contractor misconduct and to investigate the impact of the change on government contractor ethics business processes. Deterrence theory guided this study of how the change to the FAR in 2009 impacted the rate of reported government contractor misconduct (dependent variable) and government contractor ethics business processes (dependent variable). Data were collected on the top 100 government contractors over 2 separate 3-year time periods (independent variable), 2006 through 2008 and 2010 through 2012, before and after the change to the FAR. Data extracted from official government databases and government oversight organizations included annual contract awards (n = 600), contractor misconduct reports (n = 600), and contractor ethics business process records (n = 600). A Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks test resulted in 2 findings. First, the rate of reported government contractor misconduct was not significantly reduced by the change to the FAR in 2009, z = -0.949, p = .34, r = -.072. Second, government contractor ethics business processes were significantly impacted by the change to the FAR in 2009, z = -12.263, p < .001, r = -.763. This study may contribute to positive social change by informing federal contracting authorities and corporate executives that implementing ethics business processes did not reduce misconduct. These findings call for further action to improve corporate ethical behavior.