Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Lisa Milici Gaynor, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John Townsend, DBA

Committee Member

Richard Will. Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Hammond, DBA


Assessment, Accession Management, Selection


This research documents the assessment and selection process used by the U.S. Military’s Special Forces for over 70 years using Grounded Theory Methodology. Three independent studies were used to document the Special Forces process of selection. Through comparative reanalysis of each study’s data a model emerged explaining the Special Forces phenomena of assessment and selection.

Analysis was conducted in three phases using open, axial, and selective coding which allowed for the identification of a smaller set of themes which categorized the process of selection. The final step involved the development of two analytical matrices explaining the central theme of selection consistent across all three independent studies. The contribution to knowledge consists of a single unifying model that was subsequently developed and has potential to be replicated elsewhere.