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...OSD has tended to be confined to a management outlook in its supervision of the military establishment. There have been, it should be emphasized, sufficient problems to be dealt with by a business management approach to challenge and absorb the best talent available to the defense establishment. With the enormous magnitude of the Defense Department and its material activities, coupled with the changing tasks of administration, problems of business efficiency promise to remain worthy of the attention of the ablest administrative talent. Of course business efficiency is not the only objective, and in any case efficiency must be defined in terms of some other objective by which the organization product can be evaluated.
In all the major fields of defense organization it is evident that the shortcomings of the business approach have been perceived. In some, it has led to a search for program --for some way to formulate general policies —which will provide more
adequate guidance to management efforts. (pages 314 and 315) Beyond these problems, the functional structure produces perspectives in the OSD staff which are varied, much narrower, and incompatible with the perspective of the Secretary of Defense. In his book, Management, Peter F. Drucker notes this problem in his discussion of the weaknesses of functional structure in large and complex organizations such as the Office of the Secretary of Defense:
...it is difficult for anyone, up to and including the top functional people, to understand the task of the whole and to relate their work to it....functional design demands from functional people little responsibility for the performance and success of the whole....it also makes people in the functional unit prone to subordinate the welfare of other functions, if not of the entire
business, to the interests of their unit. (pages 559-560). (2) Limited Authority and Staff Support for the JCS Chairman
Some assert that a major cause of poor integration at the policymaking level of DoD is the limited authority of the JCS Chairman. This subject is discussed at length in the chapter of the study dealing with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (3) Predominant Influence of the Military Departments
While the primary mission of the Military Departments is to organize, train, and equip forces, they have maintained substantial influence on questions of strategy, policy, and broad resource allo cations. The Military Departments' influence is exercised by their dominance of the JCS system as well as of the unified commands. This overwhelming influence of the Military Departments sometimes works at cross-purposes to efforts to integrate the U.S. military establishment. This is not the fault of the Military Departments. They have correctly pursued their interests vigorously through capable and tenacious headquarters staffs. What is missing is the organizational structure and supporting mechanisms that would provide for an equally vigorous and capable integration effort along mission lines —to balance the influence of the Services on basic issues of strategy, policy, and resource allocation.
Dr. Harold Brown, former Secretary of Defense, commented on the problems of predominant Service influence:
Nevertheless, the division into four military services has led to some large and wasteful overlaps. The most obvious is the maintenance of four separate tactical air forces. Others include separate medical services, separate development and procurement of communications equipment, competing public relations organizations, and duplication of expensive military bases and facilities.
Service divisions have increasingly contributed to operational difficulties. In Vietnam, for example, the air war was directed in part by the theater commander in Vietnam, in part by the Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces in Hawaii. U.S. Army and Air Force units in Europe have difficulty communicating because their systems were developed separately and are not interoperable. Because the Navy and Air Force use different refueling equipment, tanker aircraft of one cannot refuel fighters of the other without an equipment change. Until recently, even that option was not available. Each service has its own model of transport helicopters, and crews are generally not cross-trained.
Conflicts also exist over service roles and missions. The Army, the Navy, and the Air Force all see a role for themselves in space systems and operations; these ambitions compete. Both the Navy and the Air Force operate parts of the strategic deterrent forces. The Army and the Marines have differing views on which service should take the lead in providing the ground forces for the Rapid Deployment Force. The services themselves cannot eliminate the waste, correct the operational difficulties, or resolve the conflicts over roles and mis
sions. (Thinking About National Security, pages 207-208). It would be useful at this point to comment on interservice rivalry in resource allocation and force planning. (Interservice rivalry also exists in operational matters, but as later portions of this study will demonstrate, rivalry in these matters is highly destructive and should not be tolerated.) Competition between the Services in resource allocation has often been criticized as wasteful and counterproductive. This criticism has some merit, but it needs to be put into a proper context.
Inherently, competition among the Services for missions and resources should serve the best interests of national defense. Business organizations have successfully used internal competition. In their book, In Search of Excellence, Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies, Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. state:
Internal competition as a substitute for formal, rule—and committee-driven behavior permeates the excellent companies. It entails high costs of duplication -cannibalization, overlapping products, overlapping divisions, multiple development projects, lost development dollars when the sales force won't buy a marketer's fancy. Yet the benefits, though less measurable, are manifold, especially in terms of commitment, innovation, and a focus on the revenue line. (page 218)
Similarly, Mr. James Woolsey, former Under Secretary of the Navy, in testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services stated:
...I do think that in the area of force planning, that is, deciding what we are to buy, what is to be developed, we should not be too hard on inter-Service rivalry.
It does serve in some cases a useful function. Some degree of overlapping in competition is not necessarily unwise. (Part 6,
Some aspects of the current competition among the Services for missions and resources may, in fact, serve the best interests of national defense. Beyond the innovation and new approaches that can result, the competition among the Services for military capabilities and corresponding resources -even though motivated sometimes by parochial Service interests —permits senior civilian decisionmakers to consider a wider range of divergent views on complex issues of national security. This ensures that key decision-makers, especially the Secretary of Defense, will be given more than one option by the military professionals from which to choose. In Principles of Management: An Analysis of Managerial Functions, Harold Koontz and Cyril O'Donnell comment on this benefit of competition:
Encouraging competition between departments, divisions, and other units enables the firm to make comparisons that
greatly aid in control. (page 297) In other words, interservice competition, when properly channeled, can offer substantial benefits in terms of innovation and consideration of alternatives.
However, the current framework for competition is defective in three major ways. First of all, arbitrary constraints have been placed upon the competition by the Key West Agreement of 1948 which set Service roles and missions in concrete. These arbitrary rules --which the Services are adamant on preserving -may lead to less than optimal results in certain instances.
Second, the competition between the Services should be for capabilities that most effectively meet the needs and fulfill the goals of the overall DoD organization, in other words, the major missions and central strategic purposes. Too often this is not the case. Rather, the Services compete for resources to promote Service interests. Part of the fault for this predominant Service focus on its own interests must be borne by more senior organizations -OSD and OJCS. The failure of these organizations to articulate the strategic goals of DoD, to establish priorities, and to provide a useful framework in which resource decisions can be made has left the Services great freedom to pursue their narrow interests.
Third, the Services, primarily through the JCS system, seek to limit competition and to minimize objective examination of alternatives. In its search for compromises and unanimity, the JCS collude and negotiate "truces” that preclude real competition for missions and resources. This undesirable situation is discussed at length in Chapter 4 dealing with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Thus, the constructive consequences of inter-Service rivalry are diminished by these three deficiencies. Moreover, competition between organizations also has destructive consequences. In DoD, the destructive consequences of inter-Service rivalry —which include suspicion, jealousy, and refusal to cooperate and coordinate -are substantial. In sum, while competition among the Services could have many benefits, that competition has not yet fulfilled its potential. (4) Limited Input by Unified Commanders
A fourth major cause of poor integration is the limited contribution that the unified commanders can make to policy and resource allocation decisions. Given the weaknesses of the JCS system and the relative isolation of the unified commanders from the Secretary of Defense, the unified commanders do not have sufficient influence over the readiness of their assigned forces, their joint training, their ability to sustain themselves in combat, or the future capabilities of their forces that derive from development and procurement decisions. As a result, a key force for integrated functioning of the defense establishment —the unified commands —plays only a minor role in the most important defense decisions.
While the limited input from the unified commands reduces the integrating staff support readily available to the Secretary of Defense, it is a major problem for the unified commanders themselves because they have limited ability to influence policy or resource allocations affecting their commands. Accordingly, this deficiency is addressed in Chapter 5 concerning the unified and specified commands. 2. MANY OFFICES IN OSD ARE NEITHER ADEQUATELY SUPERVISED NOR
COORDINATED a. Span of Control Problem
The basic cause of this problem is that the hierarchical structure of OSD violates normal standards of span of control for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense. Currently, the Secretary and his Deputy have 24 senior OSD and Defense Agency officials reporting to them as well as the JCS Chairman and members, the three Service Secretaries, and nine unified or specified commanders for a total span of control of 41 subordinates.
Span of control (or span of management) is a fundamental issue for every organization as it must decide how many subordinates each superior can effectively manage. In Organization and Management, Fremont E. Kast and James E. Rosenzweig discuss span of control as follows:
The span of control, or span of supervision, relates to the number of subordinates that a superior can supervise effectively. It is closely related to the hierarchical structure and to departmentalization. Implicit in the span of control concept is the necessity for the coordination of the activities of the subordinates by the superior. It emphasizes superior-subordinate relationships that allow for the systematic integration of activities. Traditional theory advocates a narrow span to enable the executive to provide adequate integration of all the activities of subordinates. It does not recognize the possibility of other means for coordination. (pages 239-240) The narrow span of control advocated by traditional theory is less than ten subordinates with the ranges of 3 to 7 and 4 to 8 often cited as ideal. As Koontz and O'Donnell note:
Students of management have found that this number is usually four to eight subordinates at the upper levels of organization and eight to fifteen or more at the lower levels. (Principles of Management: An Analysis of Managerial Functions,
While many studies of actual organizations show the median span of control to be 7 or 8 subordinates, numerical guidelines have been increasingly questioned. In his paper, "Span of Control: A Review and Restatement,” David D. Van Fleet comments on this occurrence:
: . the numerical guideline approach has been faltering. Perhaps this is because the span of control concept has been misinterpreted to mean “Magic" numbers whereas it is not intended to provide a “magic" number, and possibly because it is not reasonable to expect that one particular size of span will be ideal for all situations. (Akron Business and Economic
Review, Winter 1974, page 35) In discussing factors that have an impact on effective spans of control, Van Fleet lists eleven: o routine work -If the work performed by subordinates is rou
tine, more individuals can be effectively supervised; if the work performed is quite varied and complex, fewer subordinates can
be effectively supervised. o ability of subordinates - If the subordinates are highly trained
and capable, more of them can be effectively supervised. o non-supervisory activities - If the superior official must spend
considerable time in non-supervisory activities, he can effec
tively supervise fewer subordinates. o supervisor's ability -A more capable official can effectively su
pervise more subordinates. • personal assistants --If an official has assistants to help him,
he will be able to supervise a greater number of subordinates. o rate of change - If the rate of change in personnel and oper
ations is relatively low, the superior can supervise a larger
number of subordinates. • geographic or physical dispersion – If the subordinates are geo
graphically or physically dispersed, the superior will be unable
to effectively supervise as many subordinates. o need for coordination -If the work requires greater coordina
tion, control, or closeness of supervision, the number of individ
uals that can be effectively supervised will be reduced. o similarity of functions -If the functions involved in the work
of subordinates are relatively similar, a greater number of sub
ordinates can be effectively supervised. o formalization – The increased use of the formal organization
techniques (e.g., standard reports and communications) will