The impact of technological change on military manpower in the 21st century
Guthrie, Neale D.
Thomas, George W.
Steiner, Kenneth W.
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This thesis analyzed the impact of technological change on military manpower in the future. The scope of the study was very broad in an attempt to capture the wide range of social, economic, organizational and psychological affects that technological change is expected to bring. The review of the literature was divided into four sections; general, discipline-specific, civilian sector forecasts, and military forecasts. The general section reviewed popular Futurists and authors who have focused on the broad effects of technological change. The discipline-specific section reviewed the theory of technological change within four specific areas: economics, sociology, organizational theory, and psychology. The civilian sector forecasts reviewed labor forecasts for the year 2000 and specific industry forecasts for various industries. The military literature review was structured under policy, the future battlefield, manpower, technology, military medicine, and the defense industry headings. The literature was then synthesized to reveal several dominant trends in society, work and the military that result from technological change. These trends include: shifts in the occupational structure towards white-collar employment; an increase in the average educational quality of the future workforce; decentralized, smaller scale organizations; and movement towards an electronic battlefield. Finally these trends were developed into a possible scenario for 2025. The scenario was presented in three parts: the environment, civilian forecast, and military forecast. Conclusions from the scenario that will impact defense policy included: force reductions, high quality personnel requirements, several personnel issues, and increased requirements for training.
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