Disruptive and Sustaining Technology Development Approaches in Defense Acquisition

Report Number: NPS-AM-14-C11P18R01-066

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Small Business

Report Series: Proceedings Paper

Authors: Gene Warner

Title: Disruptive and Sustaining Technology Development Approaches in Defense Acquisition

Published: 2014-04-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Other Research Faculty

Full Text URL: http://acquisitionresearch.net/files/FY2014/NPS-AM-14-C11P18R01-066.pdf

Keywords: technology development approach, contract award, defense acquisition, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


This study explores the relationship between an organizations technology development approach (TDA) and its success in winning SBIR Phase 1 competitions. The research posits a difference in SBIR Phase 1 success between companies using sustaining and disruptive TDA. Companies responding to DARPA SBIR Phase 1 solicitations are surveyed to determine their approach to developing technology solutions. A newly developed instrument is used to identify disruptive and sustaining TDA. Demographic data, SBIR success, and data on TDA are collected. Principal axis factoring was used to identify four orthogonal factors related to TDA. The factors were interpreted and a new objective scale was developed to measure sustaining TDA. No equivalent scale was developed for disruptive TDA. Correlation and regression analyses indicated TDA is a contributing factor in SBIR Phase 1 success. Focus on the defense market and company inventiveness as measured by patent activity are also predictors. The findings indicate TDA mediates a company