Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Quality Improvement and Organizational Change Initiatives: An Analysis of the U.S. Army's Warrior Transition Unit (Wtu)

Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Quality Improvement and Organizational Change Initiatives: An Analysis of the U.S. Army's Warrior Transition Unit (Wtu)

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Quality improvement and organizational change initiatives can serve as enablers for organizations to sustain and maintain in a changing business world; provided such initiatives are well planned and successfully implemented. The purpose of this paper is to further understand how the use of a quality management method can be implemented to improve the delivery of medical care and administrative services to the nations wounded, ill, or injured. A historical overview of the U.S. Army's Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) and the key challenges faced by this this phenomenon since its establishment will be discussed. Also, the WTU's vision, goal, and intent; a review of literature relating to organizational climate and culture with emphasis on the WTU culture and climate; and organizational change will be discussed. Moreover, an overview of the theoretical basis for quality improvement and organizational change initiatives will be outlined because as a part of the quality improvement and organizational change initiative process, leadership will be required to create a culture and climate which will allow wounded warriors with the ability to successfully rehabilitate and seamlessly transition from the military or return to duty. Then, the attention will turn to highlighting some of the key challenges facing leadership and identify the appropriate quality management method to use in order to successfully implement quality improvements and organizational change initiatives in the WTU. The paper will conclude by outlining an assessment strategy to be employed by the leadership to track the progress of the quality improvement and organizational change initiatives in the WTU.

Keywords: Total Quality, Quality Management, Organizational Change, Change Initiatives, Quality Improvement, Organizational Culture, and Organizational Climate

INTRODUCTION: THE U.S. ARMY'S WARRIOR TRANSITION UNIT (WTU)

In April 2007, the transformation of the U.S. Army Warrior Care began with the development of the Army Medical Action Plan (AMAP), which outlined an organizational and cultural shift in how the Army cares for its wounded, ill or injured service members ("Improving Care for," 2009). Two years later, the AMAP evolved in to what is now referred to as the Army Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP). At the heart of that program, the Department of the Army (DA) established 36 Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and nine Community Based WTUs geographically dispersed throughout the United States five years ago. Between the established WTUs, there are over 10,000 service members assigned or attached for medical treatment ("About the Warrior Transition Battalion," 2010). Although the WTUs were established to render quality medical care and administrative services to wounded warriors, the establishment did not come without challenges.

Since the WTUs establishment, various articles have been published regarding this phenomenon. In one of those articles, a senior fellow of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think-tank in Washington stated:

Given the inadequacy of government efforts to address the needs of today's service members to date, particularly the daunting issues of mental health and suicide, it is essential that Department of Defense (DOD) and the Veteran Administration (VA) engage private-sector players and leverage their value and impact. (Berglass, 2010, p. 2)

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) (2009) also reported:

The Army's feedback mechanisms, which include a telephone hotline and a satisfaction survey, provide a way for service members and their families to raise concerns about WTU-related issues. However, while this feedback mechanism may be helpful and important information to Army leadership, the concerns raised through these mechanisms were not necessarily representative of the concerns of all WTU service members and their families, (p. 14)

WTU's Vision, Goal, and Intent

The U. …

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