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Organizing Military Effectiveness: Organizational Culture, Military Effectiveness, and Military Power

Cedeno, Cesar Gabriel (2023) Organizing Military Effectiveness: Organizational Culture, Military Effectiveness, and Military Power. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Why is military effectiveness elusive, even for countries with considerable material, institutional, or technological resources? The answer to this question is important for scholars and practitioners of military effectiveness, defense and national security policy, and international relations. Scholars have long used systemic and national-level variables to explain why some armies are more effective than others. As a consequence, practitioners have developed policies that rarely look outside budgetary, technological, and foreign policy measures to bolster the effectiveness of their armies. Nevertheless, despite these explanations and their use in policymaking, the answer is still not entirely clear.
This dissertation aims to bring more clarity to this question by venturing outside the systemic and national levels to explain military effectiveness. Relying on organizational culture theory, I argue that armies that develop the right organizational culture will achieve the highest levels of military effectiveness and, ceteris paribus, military power. To determine an army’s organizational culture, I analyze how armies develop their own beliefs regarding combat operations and how these beliefs form specific types of organizational cultures. Then, by focusing on command and control, I analyze how different organizational cultures influence military effectiveness and military power in landmark conventional land battles fought during the twentieth century.
In order to test my argument, I rely on a qualitative research design that uses multiple research techniques. First, I used archival research to explore the beliefs of different armies through their official documents. Second, I conducted semi-structured interviews to former combatants of the Falklands War, which were designed based on my theoretical framework. Third, I performed secondary sources research in order to uncover the beliefs of armies in the cases where archival research was not feasible. Using this research design, I show that my organizational culture argument provides a more congruent and consistent explanation of evinced military effectiveness and military power in the battles I examine than do alternative, existing theories.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cedeno, Cesar Gabrielcgc27@pitt.educgc27
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGrauer,
Committee MemberKenney,
Committee MemberCondra,
Committee MemberPollack,
Date: 2 February 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 October 2022
Approval Date: 2 February 2023
Submission Date: 4 December 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 386
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: military effectiveness, military power, military operations, military analysis, command and control
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2023 14:10
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 14:10


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