Diagnosis and Analysis of Marine Corps Organizational Culture
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This report presents the results of a study into Marine Corps organizational culture. This report is being submitted to the Naval Postgraduate School’s Senior Marine in partial fulfillment of the requirements of an Executive Masters in Business Administration program. Organizational culture consists of all of the taken for granted values and underlying assumptions that characterize an organization and its members (Robbins & Judge, 2012). It is the tie that binds an organization together (Cameron & Quinn, 2011). Organizational performance is often linked to organizational culture (Robbin & Judge, 2012), and can change in response to internal or external stimuli (Cameron & Quinn, 2011). The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) is based on the Competing Values Framework, which characterizes culture as a competition between flexibility and discretion versus stability and control on one hand, and internal focus and integration versus external focus and differentiation on the other. This struggle results in four common cultures: clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy. (Cameron & Quinn, 2011) The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument was administered to Marine Officers (students) at the Naval Postgraduate School by the Senior Marine Staff in December of 2014. In all, 173 questionnaires were completed. Data from these questionnaires were put in a spreadsheet and forwarded to the author for subsequent analysis. Analysis found that Marine Corps organizational culture is currently 21.2 percent clan, 13.4 percent adhocracy, 35.4 percent market, and 29.9 percent hierarchy. The current organizational culture is weighted toward stability and control, as well as toward viii external focus and differentiation. The data reveals a desire to move toward flexibility and discretion, and external focus and differentiation. Specifically, the data reveals the desire to move from hierarchy and toward adhocracy culture in terms of the Dominant Characteristic, Management of Employees, and Organizational Glue dimensions. The data also reveals a desire to move from market and toward clan culture in the Organizational Leadership dimension. No distinguishable Company and Field Grade sub-cultures are noted, suggesting that current Marine Corps organizational culture is vertically homogeneous (characteristic of high-functioning organizations). Current Marine Corps organizational culture contains marginally distinguishable Service Group or community sub-cultures. Air Officers find the current organizational culture more market-like, while Ground Officers find the current organizational culture more clan-like. Service Support Officers are essentially a hybrid of the Air and Ground sub-cultures. The value of cultural change is illustrated with a story about the New United Motors Manufacturing Incorporated (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California. The value of initiating organizational culture change in the Marine Corps is briefly discussed, as well as the idea that individual change is the key to organizational change via a known six step process. Finally, recommendations are made, to include recommendations for future work. The principle recommendation is to initiate internal discussion and raise awareness of the value of organizational culture, and the need to manage it, by publishing the current and preferred Marine Corps organizational culture profiles in a visible venue like the Marine Corps Gazette.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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