The main research idea of my Ph.D. thesis (June, 2015) is to develop a strategic IT investment framework using primarily military concepts as a basis.
On the one side we discuss the most influencing military thinkers in Belgian Defense Karl von Clausewitz and in the USA John Boyd (together with Karl von Clausewitz). On the other hand, the causes and consequences of a fairly new concept Network-Centric Warfare (NCW) are investigated because NCW has dramatically changed the way in which military operations are undertaken and it is based on an intensive use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The first group of research questions deals with the relevance of military theories (von Clausewitz, Boyd’s OODA (Observe – Orient -Decide - Act), United States Marine Corps Command-and-Control (USMC C2) spectrum and NCW) for a contemporary company.
The second major group research questions whether it is good idea to combine Complexity Thinking (CxT) and Systems Thinking (ST) to study Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). We believe ST is necessary in addition to CxT because ST focuses also on the design of human-made CAS (based on restrictions imposed by humans in the organization and in the environment). Special attention is given to the extension of the Cynefin Framework which is a generic sense-making framework (situational awareness). It defines different spaces each with specific characteristics for management (as IT-investments) and leadership.
The purpose of our CAS*T framework (Complex Adaptive Systems Thinking) is to determine leverage points in the organization in general and IT in particular (adapting Enterprise Architecture). Since situational awareness is essential, we propose our Intelligence Base.
Concerning the research methods, we note that specific to this study we start from the military sciences to create an IT investment framework in the business domain. This requires abstraction of military concepts to transform them into business concepts.
Feedback always welcome: Marc.Rabaey@gmail.com