Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



This study examines the problem of application of manpower standards to the United States Air Force research and development organization. Personal observations and experience in the Air Force R&D system of the dysfunctional aspects of manpower standards appear sharpest to those required to implement and work within them. The desire to know the conditions and effects of standards and what caused their application becomes the motivator for this study.

In looking back on the study the research methodology utilized has combined a historical, descriptive and analytical approach. This not only describes the problems and their setting, but also provides a method for analysis as though policies were in the development phase and could undergo change for improvement.

The environment in which the Air Force and the R&D organization is set is presented as background. The approach chosen for assuring efficient utilization of the large investment in R&D facilities culminates in a review of policies and regulations and their impact on the organization

An analysis is performed through a comparison of models used as a tool for viewing policy. The first model is one formulated by the Air Force and demonstrates the difficulty in adhering to regulation in identification and quantification of the output of an R&D organization and suggests modified procedures are in order. The second model describes the practices used prior to implementation of standards and suggests this process is better than those requiring standards. The analysis of the third model suggests decentralization, management by objective and self-control as an approach to maximum productivity and that the application of standards may be causing adverse effects on the R&D organization.

A modified case study approach is used to help become more objective in looking at the historical events and their effects on Air Force policy. Analysis of the case graphically illustrates that the output of the R&D organization is not readily measurable and investigations by the United States Civil Service Commission support the thesis contention that manpower standards are having an adverse effect on the R&D organization and that the effects observed in this thesis are common throughout the Air Force R&D facilities.

Finally recommendations are made for improved organizational policy that if applied might produce an environment for increased productivity. This is done through recognition of the importance of human relations and individual contributions through innovation and decentralization.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Albert H. Rosenthal

Second Committee Member

Archibald M. Woodruff III

Third Committee Member

John Mace Hunger



Document Type