Reconciling Hierarchical and Edge Organizations: 9-11 Revisited
NETHERLANDS DEFENCE ACADEMY BENSCHOP (NETHERLANDS)
Pagination or Media Count:
A recurring theme in the C2 literature is the organizational structure of military forces. Research homes in on the hierarchical and edge organizational forms. The contrast between them has become well understood, aided by the C2 approach space and the wide-spread use of the ELICIT platform. Simulation shows that edge organization is better suited to network-centric operations. However, few military forces have discarded the hierarchical structure, despite claiming to be networked. Hence, our research asks whether these two archetypal forms can be reconciled with one another. By revisiting a case study of the events of September 11th, 2001, reported on in the 11th ICCRTS, we show that this apparent paradox can be resolved by distinguishing organizational structure from the communication patterns that flow over that structure. The communication pattern can be easily changed by changing the rules for who to inform when something happens. This is consistent with representing organizations as layered networks, with units linking the layers and layers corresponding to the domains in the NCW value chain. The paper reviews the knowledge on hierarchical and edge organizations, outlines key ideas from network science and agent-based modelling, revisits the 9-11 thought experiment, and draws conclusions and makes recommendations.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations