The Effect of Personnel Stability on Organizational Performance

Do Battalions with Stable Command Groups Achieve Higher Training Proficiency at the National Training Center?

by Jeffrey Peterson

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In 2003, the Army began transitioning from an individual replacement system to a personnel management system called lifecycle manning, which is based on an assumed causal linkage in which personnel stability leads to higher unit cohesion, which leads, in turn, to increased unit effectiveness. This dissertation empirically tests that assumption by analyzing the direct relationship between personnel stability and unit effectiveness without incorporating cohesion. The analysis applies production function theory with the factor input of interest being increased personnel stability and a production output of unit effectiveness. Using new measures of personnel stability and training proficiency scores from previous RAND research, this research assesses whether battalions with stable leadership achieve higher levels of training proficiency. The analysis results do not show a prevalent or strong relationship between battalion leadership stability and battalion training proficiency. This unexpected result potentially calls into question whether the transition to lifecycle manning should continue in its current form, because there may be more flexibility in officer management than lifecycle manning policies permit.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Policy Objective and Research Approach

  • Chapter Two

    Background and Literature Review

  • Chapter Three

    Measuring Personnel Stability and Unit Effectiveness

  • Chapter Four

    Model Specification for the Stability-Effectiveness Relationship

  • Chapter Five

    Analysis Results and Discussion

  • Chapter Six

    Policy Implications and Recommendations for Future Research

  • Appendix A

    Scatter Plots for Command Group Stability vs. Training Proficiency Scores

  • Appendix B

    Battalion Training Task Definitions

  • Appendix C

    Regression Results

  • Appendix D

    Additional Stability Analysis

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2008 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Bart E. Bennett (Chair), Bryan W. Hallmark, and James T. Quinlivan.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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