Accession Number:

ADA525362

Title:

Space Operations Officers as Jazz Musicians

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

ARMY SPACE AND MISSILE DEFENSE COMMAND REDSTONE ARSENAL AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

6.0

Abstract:

Looking through the lens of organizations as jazz bands, I investigate how adding Space Operations Officers Functional Area 40s to Corps and Division staffs has enabled them to improvise, which has paid dividends in the contemporary high-volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity VUCA contemporary operating environment. I shall first introduce Karl E. Weicks concept of improvisation as it relates to jazz and organizational theory. I will then argue that the Army has taken initial, if accidental, steps to adapting to the contemporary operating environment, which dictates a more decentralized approach to organizational design, by adding Space Operations Officers to the staffs of Divisions and Corps over the last 5 years. Finally, I will offer up suggestions by which FA40s assigned to Corps and Division staffs might develop the potential to play an integral role in combat at the operational level. Dr. Karl E. Weick argues in his paper entitled Improvisation as a Mindset for Organizational Analysis, that organizations exhibit many qualities associated with the art form of jazz music. In the essay, he cites jazz musicians who explain the qualities that define jazz, how they practice the art form and how they develop the capabilities to improvise. Weick defines improvisation as the reworking of precomposed material and designs in relation to unanticipated ideas conceived, shaped and transformed under the special conditions of performance, thereby adding unique features to every creation. In order to improvise, Weick argues, Jazz masters make major investments in practice, listening and study to create unique works of art under the pressure of live performance.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE