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Title: The effect of context on strategic decision-making in public R & D organisations from the space sector: the cases of Mars Observer (MO) and the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS)
Author: Silva, Rozane da Fonseca e
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis focused on the role of context in influencing SDM in public R&D organisations from the space sector. To address this topic it examined the influences of context on the SDM process, implementation and outcomes of two large space projects developed by NASA, the USA space agency. By adopting a broad view of context and employing a qualitative design within a multi-theoretic perspective, this thesis joined a small group of works which approached this topic in a more integrative and encompassing way. Findings revealed a more complex strategic decision-making reality and role of context than it is usually covered in the majority of studies in the field, reaffirming the need for more of this kind of research in the future . Results confirm the essential role of decision implementation to the understanding of outcomes and show decision specifics as one very significant context variable in terms of influencing SDM and outcomes assessment. A general framework of the influences of context on SDM in the space sector was developed which more closely mirrors the reality of organisational decision-making as experienced by practitioners in the field, drawing particular attention to the temporal dimension of SDM and the dynamic, enacted nature of context. It also acknowledges the role of managers' cognitions and actions in determining the final impact of "non-decisive" context influences on strategic decisions. Overall, findings support the view of SDM as context specific and generally "unprogrammemable". Despite that, this thesis maintains that the understanding of the characteristics and dynamics of the context within which decisions are embedded and of its influences on strategic decisions can help putting expectations in perspective. By doing this, it can also help delimiting the realm within which managers can act in attempts to lead SDM processes to the desired direction and academics can work to try to advise how.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available