Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Political Science

Advisor

William D. Schreckhise

Committee Member

Christopher J. Lucas

Second Committee Member

Bradley A. Thayer

Abstract

The way in which senior U.S. Army leaders such as the chiefs of staff define transformative change is important, especially if the meaning of that term is to be interpreted as originally intended by Army field grade officers. An Army chief of staff is responsible for creating a vision and establishing goals for the future, and field grade officers are responsible for pursuing that vision and those goals by implementing objectives that endeavor to arrive at the desired ends. By using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this research analyzes what each of the three chiefs of staff, who have served from 1999 through 2011, have said about their vision and goals for transforming the U.S. Army. Additionally, this research analyzes what field grade officers have said about transformation and how they view the Army has transformed over the last decade. The findings in this research indicate that there is a significant gap in how the chiefs of staff have defined transformation and how field grade officers view that same term. This mixed-methods research employed a case study analysis of what the chiefs of staff have said about transformation; a survey of field grade officers who attend the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and how they view transformation within the Army; and, individual open-ended interviews with CGSC field grade officer students, faculty and staff. The literature that largely informed this research centered on how difficult it is to implement significant change in a large bureaucratic organization; there will always be some level of goal failure. If transformation means different things to different groups within the U.S. Army then the vision and goals may not be achieved as originally intended; a problem that could potentially result in future increased national security risks.

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