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Supply Officer

In: English and Literature

Submitted By phillysuppo
Words 776
Pages 4
Wendell K Stephens
Strategic MGMT Seg 2
RAND Corporation

1. What made RAND so Conducive to fostering and facilitating strategic thinking and strategic thinkers during the cold war?

The original organizational direction of RAND corporations was to allow a small select group of intellectuals who were successful in collaborating with scientific work for the military during and after the World War II. The formation of RAND was initially placed under the guidance of the Air Force, however, the sentiment of senior leaders in the military, government, and intellectuals participating felt that continuing under the umbrella of one of the branches of the military might stagnate the benefit of having a group of “free thinkers” from achieving great results. RAND was given independence to conduct research and this freedom of thought was “guarded” within this group of researchers.

RAND attracted creative talent and individuals who were free thinkers who found comfort in not being held to a deadline or driven towards an A or B outcome choice.

RAND fostered strategic thinking based on all of the intellectuals from various disciplines like economics, mathematics, research analysis, were placed in an environment with colleagues from the most influential intellectual institutions of the day as well as the federal sector, military and civilians branches of government. RAND received a grant from Henry Ford II ($1,000,000) which allowed the organization to become a non-profit organization with no direct oversight and agenda handed to the early key minds.

These intellectuals could collaborate across fields and often bought in leading intellectuals that could contribute to the cause of connecting military scientist and industry, with several players coming from academia prior to the war, to figure out how science, social sciences, math, analysis, and human behavior can influence military strategy and decisions. “RAND was a place where ideas about the future course of research and policy making were exercised and elaborated by a community of scholars that included some of academia’s best-known and most-influential social scientist.

Although RAND crew exponentially from 1945 to 1961, the influxes of individuals were not bound by bureaucracy and bridled oversight. This allowed those in its walls to “pioneer research across a broad range of topics relevant to choice, particularly strategic choice. Andrew Marshall, the “a leading guru of American intelligence,” was relied upon over almost four decades at the Pentagon for his connection with the RAND corporation. He is also associated with some of the early contributors of American economic theory while he attended the University of Chicago.

The role of strategic managers was to foster an atmosphere that encouraged open debate and quantitative problem solving aimed at addressing issues for the United States, the Air Force, and overall policy to address the cold war efforts, specifically the strategy towards the Soviet Union.

The strategic organizational design at RAND was a system of patios and lattices with minimal amount of space between offices and hallways. Individuals might sit in a chair or lie on the floor and participate in discussion on various aspects of the analysis that has caught the attention of those in this select group.

The major change that happened is that the RAND corporation concept had a profound influence on academia, business, and the social sciences. Those who left RAND went to major influential universities, the business sector and the highest levels of government to influence strategically thinking about all aspects of how research and the study of economics, mathematics, social science, with quantitative analysis can influence decisions. Strategic thinking will forever be linked to the RAND initiative based on all of the intellectuals and influential minds that took part in all of the research that came from the RAND environment.

Ideas like Game Theory, interdisciplinary collaboration, and quantitative analysis are now commonplace in organization and will affect the competitive environment. The importance of developments at RAND are now the driving force behind the best business schools in the country and are intricately utilized in all military branches in some fashion. Understanding Organizational behavior the strategies employed to take advantage of strengths and build up weaknesses is the cornerstone of the most successful companies in existence today. The subjects of rational choice theory and behavioral and evolutionary economics are also key factors on the “RAND effect” on the landscape of business, the military and academia.

The RAND Corporation influence on not only American society, but the academic and business world can be easily traced to those who contributed to the strategic thinking that was conducted daily at RAND. The studies of “organizations and organizational change” are concepts that Marshall continues to push throughout the intelligence and defense strategists’ communities.”

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