Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Elsie Reyes Cook


Defense, Sourcing, Government, Contracting, Aerospace


Business | Economics


This qualitative research case study investigated the increasing reliance on sole-sourced critical defense components within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain network. This reliance has resulted in increased risks of operational units not achieving the agency’s minimum operational readiness requirements as presented in the DoD Inspector General’s Top 10 management challenges for the fiscal year 2020. The general problem to be addressed was the increasing reliance on sole-sourcing within the supply chain networks of government agencies and business organizations that have contributed to heightened risks of operational readiness reduction and manufacturing production delays. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the strategies that some U.S. DoD contract officers use to reduce sole-sourced critical equipment components from the supply chain. The researcher framed research questions to focus on previous cases experienced by former or current U.S. DoD contracting officers. This strategy was implemented to gain their perspective on what factors they believe are contributing to the increasing reliance on sole sources for materials and resources. Eight interviews were conducted using purposeful sampling. The analysis of the interview data yielded three primary themes and seven sub-themes for consideration. The themes developed during this study are pertinent in discussing some potential causation based on their frequency among the eight interviews. The findings were connected to a substantial body of literature from academia, industry media, and DoD policies and procedures. Potential opportunities for improving the general business practices within the DoD and major defense firms were identified.