Literary Review on Leadership and Cultural Change

Topics: Leadership, Sociology, Military of the United States Pages: 6 (2193 words) Published: April 29, 2013
How would leadership accomplish successful cultural change in my organization? Challenges to Leadership
The United States military has taken claim to making some of the greatest leaders of our time, as an ever evolving force its claim has stood the test of time. However with completely new concepts in the service members landscape, cultural change is imperative and leadership will play the important role of establishing the criterion of which service members must adhere to. “Nowhere is this more evident than the challenges confronting the United States Army” (Hargrove & Sitkin, 2011, p. 528). Young soldiers, marines, or airmen have always been and will continue to be ushered into leadership positions. “many of whom are extremely young and inexperienced, and find themselves thrust into positions with high levels of responsibility, where there decisions can be subject to public attention and carry significant consequences” (Hargrove & Sitkin, 2011, p. 528). From the day they enter the service they are challenged to set the example and lead their peers “Leadership is instilled in officers and SNCOs every day to motivate and encourage those they may lead. A leader is not just an officer or SNCO, but anyone who is up to the challenge” (Shannan Hansen, 2011). The standard that they establish must be inlayed by strong decisive figures, those who lead from the front, leaders who themselves will first have to grapple with the cultural shift before them. Cultural Progression Factors

The culture shift of the military is a compilation of several years of change that are converging upon the military service member simultaneously. “However, to survive and thrive in a dynamic world, culture must adapt to changing conditions” (Dunivin, 1997) Change has been consistent within the services as written from a military member in the mid 1970’s “Many of the traditional characteristics of the military profession are subject to the influence of societal trends” (William J. Taylor, 1977, p. 633); we still see today the cultural ebb and flow of change. “The impact of societal change on the military has been real” is echoed today as members of the service are learning lessons “from how to conduct more effective combat operations to how to grasp the role of culture” (Michaelis & Spain, 2005). The issues at hand affecting this shift consist of three main factions. 1) The repeal of don’t ask don’t tell policy which as formerly, “Enacted in 1993, this policy allows discreet (i.e., closet) homosexuals to serve in the military without fear of prosecution and discharge (Dunivin, 1997). 2) The inclusion of women into combat arms positions in the past, “from its gender-segregated worldview, the US military maintained distinct gender roles (i.e., appropriate masculine and feminine behaviors) and restricted women to a limited sphere of military service” (Dunivin, 1997, p. 8). Most significant affecting the military are budgetary constraints that affect the size and strength of the military. “The government must notify employees 60 days in advance of possible furloughs. Some workers already have received such notices, and many more notices are expected to go out today, when sequestration will begin cutting $1.2 trillion in federal spending over 10 years, including $85 billion in the next seven months” (Francisco & Slater, 2013). “Is military culture undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift? If we assume so, then the recommendation in this paper of the strategies for a successful paradigm shift toward inclusion must be adopted” (Dunivin, 1997, p. 7). Issues Arising from Cultural Change

Through cultural change service members will be put into situations that contradict the previous cultural mind-set. Conflict will be inherent in the process as adoption will not come easily for some; conflict, “when managed properly, can improve effectiveness, increase innovation, and enhance adaptiveness” (Spector, 2012, p. 35). In regards to...
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