The Role of Experimentation in Manpower Planning

by Gus Haggstrom

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Discusses the role of controlled experimentation in military personnel management and lists its advantages and shortcomings relative to other information-gathering techniques. As the military undergoes the transition to an all-volunteer force, there is an urgent need for more controlled experimentation to assess the effectiveness of proposed changes in personnel practices and to provide better knowledge of the military's use of human resources. The military services have already taken steps to expand their personnel reporting systems and data banks, and new computer-based models and techniques have become more widely used. But these efforts should be supplemented by well-conceived pilot studies to reevaluate some of the key parameters affecting manpower supply and utilization in the new environment and to provide real tests of the usefulness of changes in personnel practices before they are put into practice.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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