Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
For decades, the Department of Defense has been plagued by persistent cost, schedule, and performance problems in defense acquisition programs. Recent changes in Department of Defense acquisition policy were intended to improve efficiency and are demonstrating some improvement in terms of overall cost improvements, yet little is understood about whether training efforts related to the new policies are producing policy-compliant behavior on the job. Using Edgar Schein's â??Onion Modelâ?? of organizational change as the theoretical construct, the purpose of this study was to examine through an ex post facto, cross-sectional longitudinal study whether there is a significant relationship between learning achieved from Defense Acquisition University (DAU) training in acquisition policy and application of learned policy-compliant behavior, as represented by the variables learning achieved and applied training. Data were obtained from DAU that spanned 19 months and over 334,000 training events separated into 40 course-type subgroups. These data were analyzed through hierarchical regression analysis to test whether concepts learned in policy training predicted policy compliance. The findings confirmed that the independent variable of â??learning achievedâ?? is predictive of policy compliance (p <.001). Additionally, course types employing transformative active learning and cross-functional team training had statistically significant relationships with the â??learning achievedâ?? variable. This study may support positive social change by informing policymakers of the importance of formal acquisition training using transformative training techniques in implementing needed culture change in the defense acquisition workforce, which should lead to better defense acquisition outcomes in support of national security.