Subcultural Influence on Military Innovation: The Development of U.S. Military Cyber Doctrine
White, Sarah P.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationWhite, Sarah P. 2019. Subcultural Influence on Military Innovation: The Development of U.S. Military Cyber Doctrine. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractWhy do military organizations adopt different approaches to a new technology? History has demonstrated that the development of a new military technology does not presuppose its uniform application either cross-nationally or cross-organizationally. Rather, we have seen time and again that militaries vary in their interpretation and application of the same technologies. Over the past three decades, this same pattern of variation has begun to emerge through the development of different organizational and national approaches to cyberspace. This dissertation will attempt to answer the question of why variation exists in patterns of military innovation by demonstrating the constraining effects of past operational experience on organizational innovation. Speciﬁcally, I argue that the background operational experiences that deﬁne various military subcultures can have a limiting effect on an organization’s ability to consider alternative choices when presented with a new operational problem. This effect is higher under conditions of uncertainty, when the lack of clear top-down guidance affords these subcultures greater latitude for independent initiative. Under this framework, innovation will emerge as the evolutionary product of a process of interaction and bargaining based on patterns of behavior ingrained in service subcultures. Over time, tensions between these competing interpretations of the purpose of a new technology will be resolved in a way that aligns with the broader service mission and dominant service culture. I assess this hypothesis through a detailed study of the historical origins of cyberspace doctrine in the U.S Army, Navy, and Air Force. In addition to a new theoretical framework for military innovation, this paper makes a substantial empirical contribution to the history of cyberspace operations in the U.S. military.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42013038
- FAS Theses and Dissertations