Understanding Military Downsizing Through Research and Analysis, Research Paper Example


Downsizing is a regular operation among huge and small organizations in the business industry. It could be assumed that somehow, this operation stands to be an unavoidable approach that is used by administrators to establish good control over their employees and their overall organizational system. However, the situation is different when it comes to handling organizational issues in the military force. The responsibility of the said organization towards the public is extensively crucial that it needs to be handled with full attempt of defining better conditions of serving what the nation needs as the military force has been expected to adhere to. It could be understood though that the military force [pertaining particularly to the US army]operates under controlled federal budget. Hence, to be able to continuously support what is needed to be accomplished, military administrators have to weigh the different aspects of operation that could affect their integrity especially in pointing out the most credible source of competence that they could use to make sure their operations are into par with the expectations that the nation has on them. Sometimes, one of the operations that the administrators have to undergo is to consider downsizing. To support more projects and more conditions for operational expansion, there are instances when it is the man power that needs to be reduced.

Relatively, this approach bears an indicative impact on how a military force operates both in and out the field. In the presentation that follows, a contextual analysis on three particular written materials are shall be considered hence showing the different aspects that impact the operation of the military force in line with the application of downsizing among the workforce of the organization. Looking through the research procedures incurred and the results gathered by the researchers, the indicative definition of how downsizing correlatively manifests the strengths and weaknesses of the  administrators to handle changes shall be given particular attention to.

Conceptual Analysis

            Cameron’s (1998) study on the downsizing operations happening in the US military force first started to scale off from a negative hypothesis that indicates how the said organizational operation weakens the power of the military army especially in handling their responsibilities towards national security. This assumption has been considered by Cameron as based from the obvious thought that when a military force is downsized from its man power, then it would of course weaken. In the aim of proving that hypothesis, Cameron tried to compare the statistical data that has been gathered from research through the noted information comparing the years between 1992 and 1996. The data included mathematical data that yielded the number of employees form the beginning of the operation and the resulting number of man power after the downsizing process.

It could be observed how Cameron tried to use the information to further prove the hypothesis and ended up understanding the impact of the said matter on a different light. The information gathered showed that as the man power downsized, the operations improved. According to the administrators, it was the more cooperative system that yielded such results. A lower number of employees was apparently much easier to contend with than a large army of troupes that who are less cooperative especially in times of organizational chaos. Believably, the budget re-allotment also plays a great role in consideration with this issue. With the budget being adjusted to support larger projects for operative development, the more efficient the system of the military force has become.

Gurin (1998) supports the idea through pointing out in the study that the administrators play a great role in relatively setting the attention of the employees who were left behind towards the future of the organization and their own future as well. Focusing on the aspect of “moving on” from what has become “the past” specifically notes the effective reestablishment of a system that defines a more refined indication of growth rather than of failure. The art of handling the downsizing operation effectively creates a great impact on how the entire organization operates. With the proper vision of the administrators, the attention of the employees are set towards the more convincing aspect of “growth and development” rather than on the possibility of a lost morale on their own personal conditions. Gurin’s research further argues that it is with the effective approach of administrational operation that sets the environment for acceptance among those who were left behind. Reorienting them in their duties and the mission of the whole army to serve the welfare of the nation is noted by Gurin to be one of the most refined assumption of cooperative development among the organization’s work force (29).

Cameron and Gurin obviously dwelled upon the more positive side of downsizing. To note the balance of such report, examining the report of the United States General Accounting Office on military downsizing released in 1993 shall provide a rather more direct form of information that shows how much the said organizational operation of the army affects both its reputation and its capability to respond to the responsibilities it is expected to complete. The report rather points out that the organizational function is barely affected by the downsizing approach used by the military administrators to realign their considerations especially when it comes to manifesting good governance in the army through downsizing. Nonetheless, it does affect the morale of the people who are left. Boosting the morale of these employees [both belonging to the army and to the office-staff] should be well handled by the administrators if they do preempt that downsizing would actually produce good results for the army’s overall operation.

Relational Analysis

The relation between the materials used basically focuses on the attention by which the authors placed on the possible negative impact of downsizing which apparently resulted to finding out how much more effective the process is in strengthening the operations of the army. The belief that more people in the army strengthens its power to face national adversities depends on the condition of the operational governance that the organization embraces. Cameron, Gurin and the reports from the US General Accounting Office impose that downsizing is a mere operation in the army that needs to be handled effectively so as to be able to yield good results. the strategy from which the consideration over the elements that affect the condition of those who are left behind for further service to the military force appears to be a crucial stage of the process.

As noted through the report of the US-GAO of 1993, the release of separation payments and complete benefits to those who were let go by the military force ought to show respect to the service that has been provided by the retrieved employees and at the same time lift the morale of those who were left behind in belief that they are to be taken care of by the army even after they were relieved from service. Naturally, setting up the trust of the people towards the capability of the administration to provide them with what they were promised even after they have served the nation and the army at that gives every individual a chance to see through the possibilities of hanging on to their duties.

Understandably, the three contexts examined in this discussion specifically agree on the fact that there are several good reflective results that can be taken from the extensive and effective application of ethical rules of business organization in the aspect of pursuing the process of employee downsizing in the military force. True, the situation could be more crucial as this involves not only the values of those who are within the organization but the concerns of the nation as well. Being an organization that serves the benefit and values of the country, the military force faces a lot of challenges especially in deciding who and how many individuals to let go during a particular session of downsizing. The condition from which the administrators try to redeem themselves and the trust of their people into the system makes a great difference on how the employees who were left behind respond to the changes that are to happen in line with the downsizing conditions. Effective governance and strategic downsizing operation seems to be the agreed key aspect that Cameron, Gurin and the US-GAO report responds to efficiently.


            Making the best out of what must be done in an organization carries so much burden on the part of the administrators. The relative indication of success in refining the results of a downsizing approach is very much dependent on how administrators of any particular organization handles the challenge. The same thing is true when it comes to the operation of the military force. As seen from the research reports presented herein, there are several elements that contribute to the existence of the need to downsize the number of employees and workforce in a public entity such as that of the military army. Arguing over the positive and negative effects of the matter, Cameron (1998), Gurin (1998) and the US-GAO report (1993) shows a definite course of indication that downsizing operations handled carefully by the administrators make a great change in the organization’s operation towards gaining national security. On the other end, analyzing these reports and researches also show the fact that once an approach of downsizing is not defined effectively by the administrators and its operations not properly planned, the approach could become crucial to the reputation and overall completion of the responsibilities that the organization needs to adhere to. True, like any business entities, the military force should know how to handle the challenges of the changing course by which the army should be managed accordingly. To finally define the situation, Gargan (1999) mentions that the same as private firms the military organization holds not only a public responsibility, but also a responsibility towards its own people force. Keeping that role intact even in the middle of the downsizing procedures makes the military administrators more comprehensive in handling the challenges of the changing face of military operation as the modern culture of the modernized society enters the global scene.


Cameron, K.S. (1998). Strategic organizational downsizing: An extreme case. Research in     Organizational Behavior, 20, 185-229. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press

Gurin, L. (1998). Bouncing back from downsizing. The Journal for Quality and Participation,21(5), 24-29.

US-General Accounting Office. MILITARY DOWNSIZING: Balancing Accessions and Losses is Key to Shaping the Future Force. http://www.gao.gov/archive/1993/ns93241.pdf. (Retrieved on February 18, 2012).

Gargan, J. (1999). To Defend a Nation: An Overview of Downsizing and the U.S. Military. http://www.management-aims.com/PapersMgmt/23Gargan.pdf. (Retrieved on February 18, 2012).