Authors: Nick Bontis, Chris Hardy, and John R. Mattox
The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is an integral component in the career of every Defense Acquisition Workforce member, from the time they enroll in their first DAU course until they retire. One of the many keys to DAU’s success is its ability to measure the effectiveness of its training programs, monitor performance, and improve its curriculum. To this end, the authors conducted a data mining exercise within the training evaluation data to determine the key drivers of its success. This article explains the methodological approach used (structural equation modeling) as well as the results, recommended actions, and outcomes. Within the DAU learning enterprise, more than 326,000 training events were evaluated during 19 months between January 1, 2008, and July 30, 2009. Results indicate that DAU’s learning enterprise positively influences job impact and business results.
The impact of organizational culture, management leadership style, and employee commitment on organizational outcomes has long been studied, but no clear answer exists for which concepts most affect acquisition outcomes and increase organizational productivity. A key contribution of this study is the notion that they are interrelated and may work synergistically in improving acquisition outcomes. The author claims that the interaction of these elements, when combined, may produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of their individual elements. A conceptual model was identified and used as the foundation for building hypotheses. Structural Equation Modeling was used to analyze the data gathered, and a path diagram was developed for this study using Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS).