The Cultural Dimension of Army Transition
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The British Army and its allies face fundamental change as the campaigns of the past decade draw down and they reconfigure for the complex and evolving threats of the future. As Western armies transition towards geostrategic uncertainty, they must become flexible and adaptable to confront the unexpected, and to avoid the perennial pitfall of training to fight the last war. This monograph explores the cultural dimension of army transition which will allow broad physical capabilities to be rapidly adapted to the specific contexts of future warfare. It does this by recognizing that culture is the mental programming that shapes an organizations behavior, and therefore defines the organization to a greater extent than its physical capabilities. As such, culture must be shaped to suit the strategic requirements of the organization. The monograph applies this alternative theoretical approach to British Army culture and transition. It discovers that recent campaigns have improved the efficiency and professionalism of the British Army considerably, but they also have nurtured mechanistic bureaucracy as a means of managing the considerable strains of overstretched campaigns. The resultant culture contradicts the central doctrinal ideas of Mission Command and the Manoeuvrist Approach, hence creating cultural tension between the values preached and the values practiced. Furthermore, the culture that has been forged by recent operations is unsuited to the future strategic requirements of the British Army. This theoretical approach is further applied to derive changes that shape cultural values towards the flexible and adaptable requirements of the future. By empowering individual initiative and creativity to the lowest level, and by encouraging ad hoc networks within the formal hierarchy, the British Army can enable more fluid evolution. By broadening worldviews through training and education, the organization can adapt to the complex global environment in which it operates.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics