Date of Conferral
Information Systems and Technology
Donna K. Brown
Since 2001, the Army has spent billions of dollars to develop, test, and procure equipment through the Army Rapid Acquisition Process (ARAP), a process at times used in place of the traditional Army Acquisition Process (AAP) when immediacy and customization are a priority. The ARAP was implemented to increase efficiency in delivering adequate equipment to soldiers. The ARAP has been criticized in the literature for its lack of efficiency and effectiveness in the field. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory case study was to examine ARAP deficiencies through the lens of a broad cross-section of Army acquisition functional area professionals. The research questions addressed key problems and factors of the ARAP's performance and its alignment with the ARAP, bureaucracy, and post bureaucracy. The conceptual foundation of this study included the theories of bureaucracy and post bureaucracy. Principles of bureaucracy are hierarchical structure and management by strict rules. Principles of post bureaucracy are flat management structures and increased autonomy. Data were collected through semistructured interviews from a cross-section of Army acquisition functional area professionals (N = 19). Data analysis consisted of coding participant responses, which resulted in the emergence of themes and categories. Findings revealed the need for improvements to sustain, transition, and fund equipment and the need for improvements in developing equipment requirements and increasing direct soldier involvement when using the ARAP. This research provides lessons that may inform current and future ARAP initiatives and contributes to social change through procuring the best equipment for soldiers to defend against threats to national security.