Accession Number:

ADA470740

Title:

Command at the Edge of Chaos

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-05-10

Pagination or Media Count:

28.0

Abstract:

Traditional hierarchical military staff organizations at the operational level of command remain suited for executing status quo and slowly evolving military operations focused on simple problems. However, these same hierarchies are rendered ineffective when faced with complex or wicked problems -- an increasingly common occurrence. Replacing traditional staff structures with flat, self-organizing networks at the operational level of command and war will allow commanders to efficiently synchronize vast resources and more effectively attack rapidly evolving, complex and wicked problems. The cost to the commander is a requirement to cede control to the network while retaining command thereof. This paper looks at the limitations of hierarchical organizations, the advantages of leveraging self-organizing networks in a contemporary military context, and how such networks should be created and commanded. Finally, the paper provides recommendations to operational commanders concerning when and how to employ self-organizing networks within operational level staffs.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE