This study, by examining management practices and program outcomes associated with the acquisition of communication satellites by the Air Force and by the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), tests the contention that the commercial sector consistently manages acquisition programs better than the military. The study finds that the military and commercial programs are organized and managed in much the same way and that both produce well-functioning, useful spacecraft. Several significant differences in management practices and outcomes, however, suggest that the Air Force may be able to improve its acquisition activities. It concludes that, in carefully selected situations, there should be a place for the performance-oriented INTELSAT management practices.
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