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Managing Change: Converting the Defense Industry
Research rept. Aug 1992-Apr 1993
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Defense conversion is a part of the changing defense industrial posture. It brings the issue of governmental industrial policy into conflict with Americas historical opposition to central planning. This research paper explores the issue from the perspective of commercial firms strategic planning process and the structural, political, human resource, and symbolic frames of Bolman and Deals organization behavior theory. The multitude of stakeholders requires an integrated perspective and policies which simultaneously satisfy the goals of the stakeholders in each frame. Congress established the Defense Conversion Commission to recommend actions and policies for this effort. It concluded that conversion does not pose extraordinary problems for the nation. It recommends coordinated planning for integrated federal, state, and local programs most already in existence and management by the Executive Office of the President. This research paper concludes that the defense conversion effort is actually a transition which isnt extraordinary when compared with previous efforts. Normal economic restructuring is taking place and governments safety net is in place. Its manageable but requires an integrated, high-level manager. The political pressures to answer vested interests demands for special attention is potentially costly and misguided. Alas, actual plant conversion is a myth and a fad which should not be a major government or public focus. However, when its defined as shifting people, skills, technology, equipment and facilities into alternative economic applications, it is very important that it be done right in order to preserve our national security and maintain the capability to reconstitute or mobilize in a national emergency.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE