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Proposed Core Competencies for Acquisition, Jolliffe, Professor Wendy, 9781288315406

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The post-cold-war environment and its reduced budgets have forced the military to implement acquisition reform. While the Department of Defense (DOD) has achieved some success, the pace of reform is still relatively slow and some concern exists about the reform’s breadth and depth. This paper proposes core competencies for acquisition organizations undergoing change. These core competencies are derived from a comparison of theory with actual practice. A discussion of possible change strategies shows various methods to achieve Kurt Lewin’s framework of organizational change: unfreezing the system, movement towards a new orientation, and refreezing new behaviors and attitudes. These strategies are compared with the case study of successful acquisition reform implemented in the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) program office. Results show a selective and tailored use of the change strategies presented. The JDAM program office placed particular emphasis on creating a sense of urgency, communicating a vision, altering key management processes, and attempting to overcome defensive reasoning. This method of employment suggests strict adherence to a particular step-by-step set of strate – gies that may not work for other organizations. However, the results also suggest that there are overarching core competencies for successful organizational change: creating urgency, communicating a vision, setting and meeting high standards, rewarding teamwork, and encouraging constant innovation.

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