How might civilian technology firms play a role in the defense industrial base going forward?
Shipman, Daniel J.
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The purpose of this thesis is to explore the competitive business environment of Department of Defense (DOD) vendors and whether the market is favorable for non-traditional, technology-focused companies to enter it. The research question is this: Given past trends in the defense industrial base (DIB), how might civilian technology firms play a role in the DIB going forward? This thesis analyzed numerous reports, papers, newspaper articles, and conference summaries to examine the DIB as a strategic asset, government initiatives for innovation and acquisition reform, trends in contracting data to analyze what DOD is buying and who it is buying from, and finally, think tank assessments of DOD's innovation initiatives. The source material was used to provide background about DOD historical spending trends, consolidation in the DIB, and a brief history of commercial technology companies' interactions with DOD. To analyze the business environment of the defense industry, two well-established models, PESTEL and Porter's Five Forces, were used. Both models clearly pointed to unfavorable conditions for firms seeking to enter the defense industry.
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