The Engagement of Military Voice

By Allen, Charles D.; Coates, Breena E. | Parameters, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

The Engagement of Military Voice


Allen, Charles D., Coates, Breena E., Parameters


Distinctive operational competencies from the civilian and military sectors provide usable knowledge to both. (1) When military voice (in the form of counsel, advice, guidance, and suggestions) is given appropriate credence, unique capabilities flow easily back to the civilian leaders of the armed forces. When voice and counsel are muted or constrained, the information flow will entropy and valuable knowledge will be lost. Using military experience as case studies, this article discusses the principal form of error occurring due to the principals' ineffective engagement of the military voice. This is referred to as "The Error of the Third Kind--[E.sub.III]." (2) This article examines two sources of [E.sub.III]: principal-agent dynamics and administrative structures. We then apply the construct of organizational justice to the process associated with engagement of military voice. Providing examples of cases that examine the consideration of the military voice will inform leader-follower, advice-and-consent dynamics in the private and nonprofit sectors of enterprise.

Knowledge Transfer and Sharing

It is important for the public administration community--academic scholars as well as civilian and military practitioners--to take account of, understand, and appreciate the realities of leader-follower relationships with respect to voice dynamics. The military is the largest public-sector organization in the United States in terms of personnel and funding. There are over 1.5 million active-duty service members and 800,000 supporting civilians, with defense accounting for more than 50 percent of discretionary funding in the federal budget. As a public entity, it has significant impact on a number of the managerial and operational aspects of other organizations. In diplomatic and security endeavors, the military is the globe-spanning arm of the nation vis-a-vis its operations around the world. It often plays a critical role in terms of its contributions to best practices in public and business administration, as well as a number of other disciplines. It experiments with new technologies and innovates. The military has a strong training and educational component that develops its professional personnel (officers, senior enlisted, and civilians) throughout their careers. The organizations in the military are heavily invested in after-action-reviews (AARs). The AAR tools of the military are arguably among the best of their kind when it comes to "organizational learning." (3)

The military's distinctive competencies set it apart from ordinary organizations and establish it as unique. From the revised resource-based view of the firm presented by organizational researchers Jay Barney and William Hesterly, the distinctive competencies of valuable, rare, inimitable, and organizationally integrated (VRIO) capabilities of the firm are necessary for competitive advantage. (4) Transferring this concept to the military, we see that it has distinctive capabilities unmatched by other organizations. These are:

* Rare and Inimitable Operational and Tactical Planning Expertise: This competency is found in the military's unique ability in technical planning and executing operations. When given an assignment, the military will invariably perform the task with unmatched and inimitable efficiency and effectiveness, which can be challenging for any large organization. (5) This expertise is developed through education and deliberate practice in the application of military force to achieve task, mission, and policy objectives. As noted by civil-military relations scholar James Burk, the military exercises professional jurisdiction "defined by the boundaries of the domain within which expert knowledge is applied" and that is acknowledged by the stakeholders in national defense. (6) The legitimacy of military professionals is derived from development of objective and abstract knowledge for the field of military science. This legitimacy derives from the Constitution and has remained intact for over 200 years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Engagement of Military Voice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.