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Strategic Assessment and Development of Interorganizational Influence in the Absence of Hierarchical Authority

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The governance of civilian postsecondary education and professional development in the Department of Defense DoD is highly decentralized. The many educational institutions, programs, and courses of instruction offered to DoD civilians respond to influence from both within and outside DoD. Institutions within DoD are typically governed by several formal sponsors and are also influenced by boards of visitors or advisors, accrediting agencies, licensing bodies, and other governing entities that play important roles in the higher education sector outside DoD. In 1998, the DoD Office of the Chancellor for Education and Professional Development was added to the complex multiorganizational network governing civilian postsecondary educational activities as the primary advocate for academic quality and cost-effectiveness. Unlike the formal sponsors, the Chancellors office was not endowed with hierarchical authority over DoD providers of education. It must therefore rely on other sources of power to achieve its mission of influencing quality and cost-effectiveness. Previous RAND research on strategic planning for the Chancellors office Levy et al., 2001 considered possible roles for the office, given its mission and charter. This report extends that work by offering a systematic approach to the assessment of interorganizational influence and strategies for its development in the absence of hierarchical authority. The approach presented here draws on research from social psychology, organizational behavior, and sociology, and is designed for use by the Chancellors office and other similar organizations participating in the governance of education, training, and professional development ETD.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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