Publication date (electronic): 30 December 2014
Exploring U.S. Coast Guard organizational preparedness through chaos and complexity theories
Gregory J. Sanial is a career U.S. military officer with over 26 years of leadership experience, focused international engagement, and operational acumen with a broad base of expertise in operations, budgeting, and personnel management. His military career has included twelve years of sea duty, commanding five military ships, and multiple headquarters level assignments in strategy, policy, and budget formulation. He has used strategic vision and inspirational leadership to lead high performing teams, increase operational capability, improve organizational efficiency and significantly contribute to enterprise-wide organizational goals and executive decision-making. Dr. Sanial wishes to thank Dr. Patrick McNamara and Dr. Mohamad Hammoud of Northcentral University for their guidance and mentorship in the development of his research manuscript. This article is based on Dr. Sanial’s PhD Dissertation. Finally, the views and opinions expressed in this article are those exclusively of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government.
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and generate a holistic approach using chaos and complexity theories that captured the Coast Guard's strategic management and public policy processes to improve the organization's preparedness for unpredictable events. The case study included rich interviews of strategic management and public policy staff members and reviews of existing Coast Guard policy and procedural documents related to strategy and public policy. The research findings identified several themes in the data that were consistent with chaos and complexity theories. The identified themes were linked through the lenses of chaos and complexity theories to develop a holistic approach to improve Coast Guard organizational preparedness. The implications of the developed approach highlight the relevance of chaos and complexity theories in the understanding of the external environment and improved inter and intra-organizational processes related to strategic management and public policy for the Coast Guard.
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