Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Olivia Herriford


In 2015, private sector Department of Defense (DoD) contractors experienced decreasing profit margins by approximately 8% and an increase in estimated costs of approximately 250%. The purpose of this multicase study was to explore strategies used by business leaders of private sector contractors for DoD capacity-building projects to accurately estimate program costs to improve profitability. The target population for this study was business leaders of DoD capacity-building program contractors with successful experience improving cost-estimation processes and strategies in Southeast Asia and the former Soviet Union. The conceptual framework for this study was business process quality management with a supporting framework of game theory. The data collection process comprised semistructured virtual interviews and a review of government and corporate documents. The data analysis process consisted of compiling data, disassembling data, reassembling data into groups and themes, and interpreting data, including methodological triangulation. Through data analysis, 5 themes were identified: enhanced customer relationships, increasing ability to innovate, improved project awareness, acquisition policy and political environments, and identification of labor rates and pricing. The implications for social change include the potential for DoD private industry business leaders to develop business strategies that result in improved profitability, creating opportunities to increase local economic impact and wage scales for local employees, higher levels of employment, and increased local technical knowledge.

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