Polyester Culture: The U.S. Army's Aversion to Broadening Assignments
YALE UNIV NEW HAVEN CT
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This study examines the puzzle introduced by Secretary Gates in his speech at West Point how the Army can adapt its practices and culture break-up the institutional concrete, its bureaucratic rigidity in its assignments and promotion processes The Army has proven its ability to adapt and innovate in many areas, yet it has not done so with its personnel practices. This study seeks to determine why career development practices for U.S. Army officers have not been optimized to balance breadth and depth of experience despite recent wartime pressures and post-conflict drawdown. It also intends to determine whether a short-term bridging strategy consisting of small fixes can gain organizational momentum to close the cleavage, and if the creation of a Talent Management System will yield a bench of future strategic leaders. The Armys challenge is to build experiential capital through broadening experiences -- experiences that are outside the muddy-boots culture -- that will enable Army officers returning from War to reintegrate into the social order.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations