Date of Graduation

5-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Pohl, Edward A.

Reader

Chimka, Justin

Abstract

As globalization extends its influence to the far corners of the world, rapid developments and changes are taking place economically, socially, and environmentally. Cultural differences between and within organizations have become significant during the past few years as politics and marketplaces expand globally to include multiple nationalities, beliefs, and value systems. Unfortunately, terrorism has also felt the effects of globalization as organizations such as Al-Qaeda seek to expand their influence worldwide. Although a considerable amount of research has been conducted to identify key cultural factors that play major roles within organizations, simulation models that attempt to quantify cultural effects are few and far between. In this paper, a simulation model utilizing system dynamics principles was constructed in order to investigate the possible effects of multicultural factors within Al-Qaeda. The model was constructed based on Chamberlain's system dynamics model (Chamberlain, 2007), and modified to include a sub-model containing cultural factors and effects. The time frame for the model was from 1990-2020, with the cultural factors taking effect in 2003. The results were analyzed to determine possible strategies for exploiting the existing cultural rifts within Al-Qaeda and among its recruiting base. It was concluded that cultural factors play a crucial role in Al-Qaeda's terrorism efforts, and that the development of effective policies regarding the multicultural nature of terrorism conflicts will be a valuable asset in the fight against terrorism.

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