Why Do Programs Fail? An Analysis of Defense Program Manager Decision Making in Complex and Chaotic Program Environments
Jones, Raymond D.
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How leaders make decisions in complex and chaotic environments could have a significant impact on organizational performance. This study of leaders from across the Department of Defense (DoD) provides the foundation by which a more informed understanding of how program managersﾒ sense of situational reality ultimately leads to timely and relevant decisions. This study specifically focuses on the emergence of four aggregate categoriesﾗsensemaking, trust, tacit knowledge, and explicit knowledgeﾗthat seem to shape the leaderﾒs reality and subsequent decision-making process in highly complex environments. I refer to the integrated nature of these categories as nousmaking, or making reality of the situation and choices based on oneﾒs sense of the reality. Ultimately, these factors determine the velocity and quality of the decisions leading to overall organizational effectiveness. Understanding the underlying nature by which leaders gain a sense of reality within the decision-making environment will help shape future organizational structures and processes as well as leader development.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-18-020
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