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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1972. Business Interdepartmental Area.


Copyright 1972, the author. Used by permission.


The purpose of this study has been to indicate a way to improve the decision making process of the Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command, CINCSAC, during periods of increased tension.The CINCSAC’s decisions are very meaningful to the military efforts of the United States since he controls the major part of its strategic power.He is responsible, amongst other things, for its readiness and survival.

A great amount of information is presented to him as spoken words, as displays projected on screens in front of him or as written or printed words on paper.From this mass of data, he must determine whether a decision is required, and when, and he must sift out the elements of information he needs to consider in making that decision.

It is shown that Management Information Systems (MIS) have been developed recently to provide information to top management in better, briefer and more useable forms.Examples are given showing that the use of such systems has improved decision making significantly.

It appears that this computer potential can be applied to the CINCSAC decision making problem.An MIS is proposed which would further refine the processing in order to call the attention of the CINCSAC to the fact that a decision is required, present him with recommended solutions and reasons for those recommendations.Special displays would catch his attention and present information pertaining only to the decision at hand.It would not be necessary to refer to other displays except for background information.

Upon reading the Recommendation Display and its supporting displays the CINCSAC would confer with his senior assistants and make his decision.The MIS is designed so that a human being must make the final decision.This is necessary since he may have knowledge that is not included in the MIS.Also, allowance must be made for the institution of an experienced commander.

The results of this study indicate that the decision making process of the CINCSAC could be significantly improved by adoption of a Management Information System similar to that proposed.Further, it could be accomplished with the use of present communications and data processing equipment.

Advisor: Richard J. Schonberger