Accession Number:

ADA429156

Title:

Complexity and Innovation: Army Transformation and the Reality of War

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2004-05-26

Pagination or Media Count:

93.0

Abstract:

On 12 October 1999, the U.S. Army began a journey down a new path to innovation, when General Eric Shinseki presented his vision of Army Transformation at the 45th annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army. In this speech, General Shinseki described the Army as an organization consisting of heavy forces with excellent staying power but poor strategic responsiveness, light forces with excellent responsiveness but poor staying power, and a logistics system with an excessively large footprint. His proposed solution, a comprehensive change of the Army resulting in full-spectrum dominance and strategic responsiveness, would occur so quickly as to be unnerving to some. While this prediction has turned out in many ways to be true, it is not necessarily the speed of change that is unnerving to many of the people studying Army Transformation. This studys research question is, Does Army Transformation embody the concepts of complexity theory as applied to organizational design Because Army Transformation lacks a clearly articulated theoretical framework, seeking to develop a Future Force in the absence of a specific operational design and supporting doctrine, the process is subordinated to the whims of Army culture and parochial bias. Complexity science is one possible source of sound theoretical principles that could provide a guiding framework to the transformation process. The study demonstrates that Army Transformation is in conflict with all of the major principles of dynamic systems, complex networks, chaos, and complexity theory. Several recommendations are provided in Chapter six. These recommendations focus on culture, by attempting to influence discourse so that it is at less risk of severe divergence with the reality of the complex world. In order to bring Army Transformation in line with CRP theory, the Army should 1 facilitate emergence by encouraging the innovative efforts of change agents distributed throughout all levels of the A7

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE