Financial Management Decision-Making in the Department of Defense: A Grounded Theory Study

Financial Management Decision-Making in the Department of Defense: A Grounded Theory Study

Author: 
Hans Kennedy
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
This dissertation is a qualitative study making use of grounded theory methodology. The study is based on 35 interviews with Department of Defense Financial managers regarding the process of making decisions within the U.S. Army and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). The specific problem for this study was to identify factors or processes within the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) that could be improved within the Department of Defense financial management sector and through an analysis of the experiences, perceptions, and insights of financial management leaders, discover possible strategies to improve decision-making. The employment of a grounded theory design provided consistency, clarity, scope, and the inclusion of necessary processes surrounding the phenomenon of making decisions uncovered from the research. The grounded theory research method was appropriate for this study and accomplished the goals of exploring the experiences of decision-making by financial managers in the Department of Defense and successfully answered the three research questions. Through a thorough analysis of the gathered data, a number of themes emerged and significant knowledge and insights regarding the phenomenon of decisions making were gained.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this work to my wife, Lelia who has supported my efforts throughout the years, throughout the many moves around the country and around the world, and through the sacrifice of her career for mine. I also dedicate this to our two wonderful daughters – Heather and Emily who have become two of the most delightful people you will ever meet. I also dedicate this work to all the Soldiers and Civil Servants who sacrifice so much to serve our country. Lastly, I dedicate this work to all those who read and use its knowledge. I hope it brings about an improved understanding of decision-making and a reflection of how the process can be done better.
Acknowledgements: 
There are a great many people I would like to thank for their support in my doctoral journey. Thanks first and foremost to my mentor, Dr. John Peed, whose limitless patience and support never wavered through the many interruptions and challenges. I also thank my committee members Dr. Santos Sambare, Dr. Dean Finley and Dr. Cheryl Cotton who provided support, direction and invaluable advice along every step of this journey. Additionally, a note of thanks to the Denise Jenkins, my academic advisor who ensured I stayed on track through the challenges of personal and professional interruptions that are a part of life when working full time and pursuing a degree. My sincere thanks go out to the 35 participants in this study for taking time to offer me their insights, their memories, and the well formulated opinions for this research study. Their willingness to take the time to contribute to this study is most appreciated. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of my coworkers in Indianapolis, Washington and throughout the Army family who continued to provide both inspiration and support. In answer to your questions of “Can we call you doctor yet?” I can, finally, say YES!