Accession Number : ADA311554

Title :   Neglected U.S. Military Missions: Contending Theories of Bureaucratic Politics and Organizational Culture and the Case of Airlift Mobility. Volume 1.

Descriptive Note : Doctoral thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH

Personal Author(s) : Harrington, John D.

PDF Url : ADA311554

Report Date : 23 MAY 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 515

Abstract : This dissertation uses the comparative case study method to address the twin puzzles raised by the evolution of U.S. airlift. First, why has airlift been generally neglected? Second, how can we explain the shorter periods of intense interest in U.S. airlift? In other words, this study attempts to account both for the U.S. Air Force's relative neglect of its airlift mobility mission (compared to its combat bomber and fighter missions) and for the innovations that have occurred in the airlift arena despite a continuing condition of neglect. Using the competing independent variables drawn from the literatures on bureaucratic politics and organizational cultures, this study tests ten contradictory hypotheses to explain variation in the dependent variable, the U.S. Air Force airlift mobility mission. To do so, the thesis employs longitudinal research on the U.S. airlift mission in five chronically-ordered case studies spanning fifty years, from 1942 to 1992, including World War II, Berlin, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. Change is measured in terms of U.S. Air Force organization, force structure and basic doctrine. Based on the empirical evidence of the case studies, implications are drawn for the theories' wider applications to the generalized phenomenon of neglected U.S. military missions. In the final analysis, although this study finds little use for the bureaucratic politics paradigm, it finds that a counter theory, organizational culture, does matter. The findings of this study should shed new light on how certain military missions come to be neglected and their prospects for innovation.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, *MOBILITY, *POLITICAL SCIENCE, *MISSIONS, *AIRLIFT OPERATIONS, *ORGANIZATION THEORY, *CULTURE, MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), MILITARY HISTORY, MILITARY DOCTRINE, COMPARISON, THESES, VARIABLES, CASE STUDIES, JET FIGHTERS, HYPOTHESES, UTILIZATION, AIR FORCE PLANNING, TECHNOLOGY FORECASTING, BOMBER AIRCRAFT, EVOLUTION(DEVELOPMENT).

Subject Categories : Military Aircraft Operations
      Government and Political Science
      Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE