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Accession Number ADA562719
Title SOF as a Learning Organization.
Publication Date Jun 2012
Media Count 157p
Personal Author D. Franta
Abstract Special Operations Forces (SOF) units are expected to perform a wide variety of missions under diverse conditions. They are considered a strategic tool, and as such, the price for failure is correspondingly high. The speed of reaction and the degree of flexibility are the key traits of SOF units. As the task environment of SOF units has grown in complexity, the amount of information available has grown too. As a result, the channels and the people could become overloaded, and in unstable and fluid environments, a unit can become less flexible, less capable of learning and ultimately less effective. The ability to learn as an organization is very important in a long-term perspective This study analyzes what facilitates a SOF unit as a learning organization characterized by a quick and flexible response to new information. The overarching framework is that 'intelligent failure', framing and reframing, balanced exploitation and exploration, environment of psychological safety, managers' tasks supportive of organizational learning, learning teams, and mental models, selection of personnel, learning infrastructure, and being organized to learn are procedural and structural elements that facilitate organizational learning. Organizational learning of SOF units is fostered by an environment of psychological safety, and occurs through direct interaction. Establishing the processes that allow for safe reporting, and creating environment that supports open dialogue and discussion that encourage knowledge gain and transfer. SOF members' ability to cross boundaries helps bringing in new ideas and insights, and tolerance of failure in support of learning supports transfer of knowledge, and allows for faster and broader learning.
Keywords Channels
Intelligent failure
Knowledge transfer
Learning infrastructure
Learning teams
Management personnel
Mental ability
Organizational learning
Psychological safety
Special operations forces
Structural components

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 70B - Management Practice
74 - Military Sciences
Corporate Author Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.
Document Type Thesis
Title Note Master's thesis.
NTIS Issue Number 1225
Contract Number N/A

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