Recent Research Projects
National Security Personnel System: The Period of Implementation (PDF)
Authors: Douglas A. Brook, PhD, Cynthia L. King, PhD, and Nicholas M. Schroeder
This report addresses the implementation of NSPS in the Department of Defense (DoD) from the time of enactment to the point where the last NSPS regulations were published at the end of the George W. Bush Administration. Three distinct temporal periods are identified in the implementation phase of NSPS history. The initial DoD implementation strategy immediately following enactment of the FY 2004 Defense Authorization Act was led by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). It focused on rapid deployment of a new personnel system, including pay for performance and pay banding, based on a prior study of best practices. In Spring, 2004 the Department decided on a “strategic pause” in the face of implementation issues and criticism from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) . During this period, the Department developed a new structure to facilitate implementation and address the OPM’s concerns. This strategic pause was followed by the third period of implementation with the formation of the Program Executive Office for NSPS. Implementation of NSPS was impacted by strong opposition from public sector unions, increasing congressional oversight, and by court cases brought by the unions that slowed and narrowed DoD’s role out of NSPS. Nevertheless, the Department persisted. The final portion of NSPS regulations of the Bush administration were published in the January 16, 2009, Federal Register.
Best Practices in the Navy’s Energy Programs: Strategic Communication Factors Operating in the Tactical Forces (PDF)
Authors: Anita Salem, Cynthia L. King, PhD, Shane Fox, Ryan Haley and Mike Klotzbach
The Department of the Navy is the second largest consumer of petroleum within the Department of Defense and has been tasked by Navy leadership to reduce energy costs in the tactical forces. Energy Conservation can be both a cost effective and relatively quick way to reduce energy. To better understand how the Navy can more effectively encourage energy conservation, this study reviewed existing literature for relevant management and communication theory and practices, identified and evaluated existing Navy energy conservation programs, and interviewed Navy tactical forces’ personnel regarding their perspectives on the effectiveness of current programs and their motivations for conserving. Results from published literature indicate that key factors affecting energy conservation behaviors include attitudes, cognitive understanding, motivation, leadership, and effective strategic communication practices. Assessments of existing programs resulted in a focus on two successful initiatives: the i-ENCON program and the Shipboard Energy Management Program. The benefits and drawbacks of these programs are discussed. Finally, interview results suggest several factors that may enhance or impede energy conservation efforts in the Navy including level of awareness of the problem, importance of setting specific goals, the need for feedback on effective energy conservation behaviors, the impact of material and social benefits, the importance of the role of leadership, the challenges and opportunities provided by Navy culture, the potential impact of process and policy barriers, and the importance of communication and outreach. Recommendations include the need to improve upon and expand existing programs; to tailor communication themes, messages, and channels to key audiences; to develop a risk communication plan; to design a process for evaluating conservation capabilities; and to support an integrated strategic communication process.