Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management

Committee Chair

Dawn R. Utley

Committee Member

Phillip A. Farrington

Committee Member

Stephanie Reitmeier


United States--National Aeronautics and Space Administration--Decision making, Scientists in government--Decision making, Decision making, Space launch industry, Management information systems


This thesis investigated the communication and decision making process as part of the Systems Engineering practices at the NASA/Marshall Center to determine its level of effectiveness. Data was collected across three change requests to assess how decisions were made, how the decisions were communicated, and whether a process mattered in the formulation and dissemination of those decisions. Data results revealed the comprehensive decision making process for the technical change requests to be effective. Evidence revealed that the process was sufficiently tailored to accommodate the need of each individual technical change which promoted effective communication amongst the stakeholders in the formulation of the strategic decision recommendations elevated to upper management. However, data results also revealed the dissemination of the final decision and approval of the change requests from the higher organizational level down to all stakeholders was less effective. An establishment of a culmination meeting at the end of the change request decision process in which to close the communication loop with all entities would be beneficial.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.