Rise of the Functionals?: Mobility Air Force Developmental Teams and their Impact on Officer Education and Advancement
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
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This thesis examines the relationship between the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the subordinate functional Air Force organizations that are responsible for officer development, the Developmental Teams DTs. This paper analyzed the potential differences between what the CSAF viewed as important for officer professional military development with what the functional Mobility Air Force DTs focused on and emphasized. This thesis applied a principal-agent framework to study whether the MAF DT followed and implemented the CSAF s vision for selecting future Air Force leaders, especially regarding the selection process of MAF Intermediate Developmental Education IDE and Senior Developmental Education SDE nominations. This research determined that the MAF DTs are often resistant to the CSAF s desires. However, the MAF DT s resistance was not the result of a nefarious scheme or extreme functional parochialism. Instead, DT members resorted to individual and organizational biases and desires when confronted with a lack of explicit, salient, and durable CSAF preferences. Similarly, the absence of enforceable incentives, both rewards and punishment, contributed to the MAF s resistance. Finally, the CSAF had no concrete monitoring arrangements to ensure the MAF DT was executing his delineated desires. In turn, the MAF DT tended to default to its own preferences when faced with conflicting guidance from the CSAF. If the CSAF wants guidance to be followed, he must minimize the preference gap between him and the functionals as well as enforce the desired behavior with a clear and tangible monitoring and incentives arrangement.
- Humanities and History
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations