Mission essential service: evaluation and enrichment of afloat MWR initiatives
Kennett, David A.
Crawford, Alice M.
Roberts, Benjamin J.
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This thesis evaluates the effectiveness of medium-sized surface combatants with respect to managed MWR programming and positive organizational outcomes that relate to mission readiness. These social and professional outcomes include morale, cohesion, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, work stress reduction, wellness, good order and discipline, and productivity. Substantial evidence exists that well-managed afloat MWR and comparable private sector programs have a significant impact on these organizational outcomes, particularly cohesion and wellness. A field survey of 255 enlisted and officer personnel, and structured interviews of senior shipboard leaders, were conducted onboard six Cruiser and Destroyer-Class ships home ported in San Diego, California to assess the progress of afloat MWR in creating mission support outcomes. The study explored the association of MWR satisfaction levels for home port, underway, and visiting port programs to perceived outcome levels, and found the strongest evidence of these relationships through the interviews. There is also support for the relationship between leadership commitment and positive outcomes. However, large gaps still exist between the enlisted and officer communities in regard to MWR satisfaction levels and outcomes. These challenges can be met through committed and innovative top leaders, collaborative relationships at middle management levels, and the use of MWR to sustain cohesion throughout the ship's rank structure.
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