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Research Question

  1. What factors could increase or decrease the likelihood of success in integrating active and reserve component staff organizations?

Integrating active and reserve component military staff organizations — for the purpose of achieving greater efficiency, making standards and practices more consistent, or ensuring commonality of purpose — can present significant challenges. A RAND Corporation study undertook a literature review and analysis of several case studies to examine factors that could increase the likelihood of success in such organizational integrations. The resulting best practices can serve as a framework for undertaking and assessing these integrations.

Key Finding

The Literature on Organizational Change and Cases Studies Suggest Several Best Practices That Can Improve the Chances of Successfully Integrating Active and Reserve Component Staff Organizations

  • Those best practices are as follows: Establish the need and the vision for change; create a coalition to support the change; communicate the vision; develop an implementation strategy, including goals and measures; link the vision and structure; embed the changes in the new culture; manage the integration of cultures; maintain momentum; remember the importance of people; assess progress and adjust accordingly; establish unity of command; address statutory barriers; and collocate active and reserve component personnel in integrated organizations.

Recommendations

  • Establish the need and the vision for change. Articulate the need for change, and adopt a clear vision for the integration.
  • Create a coalition to support the change.
  • Communicate the vision. Communicate the vision for the integration regularly.
  • Develop an implementation strategy, including goals and measures. Develop a strategy for implementing the integration that includes clear goals and measures of success.
  • Link the vision and the structure. Ensure that the planned organizational structure is consistent with the vision for the integration.
  • Embed the changes in the new culture.
  • Manage the integration of cultures. Work to develop a total force culture in the integrated organization.
  • Maintain momentum.
  • Remember the importance of people.
  • Assess progress and adjust accordingly.
  • Establish unity of command. Establish unity of command to the greatest extent possible in the integrated organization.
  • Address statutory barriers. Explicitly consider statutory barriers and potential work-arounds.
  • Collocate active and reserve component personnel in integrated organizations.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Total Force and Total Force Integration

  • Chapter Three

    Integrating and Changing Organizations Successfully

  • Chapter Four

    Active and Reserve Component Integration in the Air Force

  • Chapter Five

    Active and Reserve Component Integration in the Army

  • Chapter Six

    Active and Reserve Component Integration in the Coast Guard

  • Chapter Seven

    Active and Reserve Component Integration in the Marine Corps

  • Chapter Eight

    Active and Reserve Component Integration in the Navy

  • Chapter Nine

    Findings and Recommendations for Future Integration Efforts

This research was sponsored by the Office of Reserve Integration within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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