Organizational Structure—The Unexpected Force

7-2-3.jpg
7-2-3.jpg

Organizational Structure—The Unexpected Force

9.95

Author(s): Charles M. StG. Kirke
No pages: 7
Year: 2004
Article ID: 7-2-3
Keywords: command and control, command systems, management
Format: Electronic (PDF)

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Abstract: New technologies have transformed the battlefield, and are continuing to do so. Command and control in particular is a fertile area for novel technologies. However, command systems consist of more than just technology and hardware. The other vital element is the human beings who are to operate the equipment, and the physiological, psychological, and social factors that they bring with them to the system. This paper provides an overview of one particular human factor, organizational culture. 'Culture' is defined, its influence in contexts of change is examined, and two new conceptual terms ('cultural drag' and 'cultural precession') are described. This is followed by the presentation of a model of British Army organizational culture, which is used to assess issues in the Army's impending change to the new technologies comprising 'network enabled capability (NEC)'. Potential difficulties are identified, as are stratagems likely to mitigate them. It is proposed that it is better to ride the organizational culture that exists, and cannot change rapidly, rather than to confront it with change that will challenge it. Whatever the ultimate intention, it can be confidently predicted that sensitivity to organizational culture is more likely to result in more successful use of novel capabilities than inattention to it.