The Mayaguez incident an organizational theory analysis
Tyynismaa, Michael D.
Greenshields, Brian H.
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Applying selected concepts of organizational theory to the Mayaguez incident of 1975 leads to a more comprehensive understanding of events and more accurate lessons learned. Application of organizational theory to the Mayaguez incident demonstrates the decision processes at the executive level left the military operation vulnerable to failure. Henry Mintzberg's structural contingency model and Lee Bowman and Terrence Deal's frames model are used and are applied to executive-level decisions. The rationale behind focusing on the executive level is twofold: first, it is where final critical decisions are made and second, military operations cannot take place without an executive-level authorization. The Mayaguez crisis was rife with potential pitfalls and, though President Ford was equipped with an organization of intelligent, competent personnel, the result was unnecessary loss of life. Publicly, the operation was a success and President Ford the savior of the Mayaguez crew. To the military, the operation was an embarrassment because of failures in the organizational structure and decision making. Application of organizational theory provides an avenue for analysis of the military operation within the Mayaguez rescue.
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