Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Jeremy Phillips, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Allison Turner, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Crossney, Ph.D.


This dissertation examines the acquisition of leading-edge IT services (LEITS), like those associated with cyber, agile software development, and cloud migration. In an effort to build on previous research, the purpose of this dissertation is twofold: to examine how Public Market Research impacts the LEITS acquisition process in the DoD and to discover strengths and value-added components that exist in the current government acquisition process leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness. Through a mixed methods approach, this dissertation provides recommendations for how to conduct the most efficient and effective LEITS acquisitions, striving to maximize a constrained budget, minimize time to deployment, and increase the mission support provided by industry. A qualitative study examined the DoD acquisition process, from the contracting professional’s perspective, and gained insight into the DoD process for acquiring LEITS. A quantitative study was then conducted, leveraging insight gained through the qualitative study. Conclusions were drawn from the quantitative results to provide recommendations for how to conduct the most efficient and effective LEITS acquisitions. These conclusions included that Public Market Research is a value adding component and successful protests were very rare where it was used. Additionally, the type of contract, length of the contract, dollar value of the contract, and amount of competition for the contract are found to be factors in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of a LEITS acquisition.