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Biography

Khashi Sharifi OBE is a PhD candidate at King’s College London in the Department of Defence Studies. He has a BA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Hull and a MA in Defence Studies from Cranfield University.  His Doctoral research is focused on the effects of the British Army’s organisational culture on its ability to execute strategic reform.  He is also a serving Brigadier in the British Army and is currently employed as Head of Concepts at the MoD’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre.

 

Research Interests

  • Military Innovation Theory
  • British Army Organisational Culture
  • British Defence Policy
  • British Defence Reform

 

Thesis

Moribund by Mores: Assessing the Influence of Organisational Culture on the British Army’s Ability to Conduct Major Policy Reform, 1868-1958

With a specific focus on how organisational culture has affected the British Army’s ability to execute strategic change this thesis adds to the canon of literature relating to military innovation, British Defence Policy Reform and, more widely, the British Army as an institution. Specifically, it seeks to demonstrate how the British Army's organisational cultural priorities and preferences served to inhibit the conceptual and practical implementation of a successive Army, and latterly Defence, policy reform. All of which supports the central proposition of the thesis that the British Army adheres to a change model that driven both extremally and top down. Further, and unlike any previous investigation into models of military change, it will adopt a longitudinal qualitative case study methodology which avoids the constraints of the time and context bound approaches previously employed and in doing so offers the opportunity to generate less limited epistemologically truths.

The thesis considers three separate case studies, spanning the period 1868-1958 and encompassing the Cardwell, Childers and Haldane Reforms as well as the Attlee and Sandys Reviews.  Within each case study an examination is conducted of both the process of change initiation and conceptual development and subsequently the manner of implementation within the institution.  As the employment of a longitudinal approach necessitated sacrificing some depth for breadth the thesis has ensured appropriate profundity and analytical uniformity by employing a standardised set of primary units of analysis.  These are examined through the prism of three of the most significant institutional cultural drivers, namely the influence of: the role and prerogative of the monarchy in relation to the Army, structural drivers associated with the regimental system and the role of reserve forces.  It will show that in each of the three case studies it was the civil external actors that drove the process of reform and internal actors who attempted to resisted and reverse the impetus for change.

Supervisors

Professor Niall Barr

Dr Stuart Griffin