Accession Number : AD1019913

Title :   Is the Culture of the British Army Conducive to the Successful Execution of Mission Command

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,10 Aug 2015,10 Jun 2016

Corporate Author : US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s) : Burwell,Oliver D

Full Text :

Report Date : 10 Jun 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 172

Abstract : The British Army formally adopted Mission Command into doctrine in 1989. This command philosophy espouses centralized intent and decentralized execution, encouraging freedom of action and initiative, elements vital to the successful employment of the Manoeuvrist Approach. To guide commanders in the pursuit of Mission Command, doctrine prescribes one guiding principle, four enduring tenets and five essential elements. Moreover, trust and mutual understanding are also fundamentally important for Mission Command enactment. Such requirements necessitate an organizational culture which facilitates the successful execution of Mission Command and therefore maximizes operational effectiveness. A literature review identified a British culture supportive of Mission Command, yet a British Army culture unsupportive of Mission Command. Nationally, Hofstede's dimensions identified Britain's culture as individualist, masculine, and indulgent, with weak uncertainty avoidance, low power distance and intermediate short- versus long-term orientation. The associated cultural traits generally supported Mission Command. Organizationally, using Schein's model, analysis of Army culture identified a core of espoused values that, with the exception of heroes, supported Mission Command. However, identified obstructive artifacts and some misalignments between espoused values and exhibited behaviors undermined Mission Command. These included a propensity for oversized headquarters, prevalence of a management culture, risk-aversion, micromanagement and a zero-defect mentality.

Descriptors :   Culture , Military forces (Foreign) , Military doctrine , Management personnel

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE