Organizational innovation and redesign in the Information Age : the drug war, netwar, and other lower-end conflict
Tollefson, Scott D.
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The end of the Cold War and the rise of the Information Age have fostered an uncertain security environment which the United States is struggling to master. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the factors that lead complex organizations to initiate large-scale structural change in the face of environmental uncertainty, and more specifically to determine how the rise of the Information Age may change the organizational requirements of the U.S. national security structure. This thesis creates a unique framework for analysis, blending principles of organization and innovation theory with the theory of information-based 'netwar.' This study analyzes the organizational structures adopted by several transnational drug cartels, and compares them to that of U.S. counternarcotics forces. Next, this thesis reviews a series of recent occurrences pertaining to national security to test whether there are manifestations of netwar threats emerging, and whether new and old organizational actors are learning to adapt their structures to gain an advantage over the United States. Finally, this thesis is both predictive and prescriptive with regard to the issues of organizational redesign. It argues that structural changes are necessary for the United States to ensure the national security in an Information Age. Then it makes recommendations that would help the U.S. security structure redesign itself to become more agile in the face of Information Age threats
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