MODELING INFORMATION GAPS IN MILITARY COMMAND STRUCTURES
Katz, Joel M.
Iatrou, Steven J.
Buettner, Raymond R., Jr.
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Technological advances have led to an increase in data available to commanders and their staffs. Sorting through collected data and identifying what is present that is relevant and what is relevant-but-not-present is necessary to identify and eliminate information gaps that hinder a commander’s decision-making ability. This thesis developed and assessed a model illustrating the creation and propagation of information gaps in a command structure in order to provide a tool to identify and mitigate organizational blind spots. Literature describing approaches to naturalistic decision-making; individual processes for collecting, filtering, and interpreting specific data; and the effect of staff member roles on their interaction with data formed the basis of the model. Internal analysis revealed potential causes of information gaps. The model’s utility in identifying information gaps was evaluated using dissimilar historical cases with varying command attributes and environmental parameters including technological context, situational tempo, and level of war. The thesis concludes by describing the model’s limitations and suggesting techniques to further validate the model using live exercises and a way to apply the model offensively in deception operations.
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